Daycare and Montessori Difference, which is right for your family


What’s the difference between daycare and Montessori? How do you know which one to choose for your child? These questions pop up a lot when parents research daycare or preschool options and decide what’s best for their family. It can be hard to know, especially if you’re not familiar with Montessori schools or haven’t previously enrolled a child in daycare.

How Montessori and Daycare are similar

In some ways, Montessori School and daycare are similar. Both options provide care for young children who are not yet ready to start kindergarten. Both should provide a safe place for kids to spend their days away from their parents or caregivers.

Both Montessori and daycare will have staff to care for children, activities, and educational materials.  Montessori schools and daycare centers will also likely have playground areas for children to run and play.

Differences between Montessori and Daycare

Montessori Schools focus on the care, education, and development of young children. They tend to focus on age-appropriate independence, care of self, and early academics than more traditional daycare centers. Montessori education focuses on five key areas including practical life, sensorial, language, math & science, and culture.

Children enrolled in a Montessori school are in a classroom environment with other children in their age range. Children in the Toddler class are ages 16 months – 3 years old, and they learn how to care for themselves, how to care for their environment and begin to learn early academics that will support them when they go to elementary school. They focus on gross motor skill activities such as painting, riding tricycles, and sweeping the classroom. They learn to take pride in taking care of their environment. It’s theirs to protect.

Children are encouraged to have age-appropriate independence. As you walk the halls of a Montessori school, you will likely see kids with bedhead or shirts on backward or shoes on the wrong feet with huge smiles on their faces because they did it themselves. Montessori kids are encouraged to do as much as possible for themselves to help them feel the confidence that comes from knowing they can do it.

The classroom environment is set up to encourage a child’s curiosity and interest; they are encouraged to select the work they want to do. If it’s a new work they’re not yet familiar with, the Guide (teacher) will give them an individual lesson, so they know what to do. They learn the initial lesson, repeat the process, and ultimately master the lesson.

How do you decide which option is right for your family?

The best way to decide what’s best for your child is to talk to friends and family, get their recommendations, research, look at reviews for the schools you’re considering, and ultimately, visit them in person so you can speak with the staff, see the classrooms, ask questions, and decide for yourself which option is right for your family. If you think Montessori might be great for your family, we’d love to have you tour Klein-Spring Montessori. Contact us today to ask any questions you may have and schedule a tour. See for yourself why families have chosen Klein-Spring for over 35 years.

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