If you have a toddler at home, you may be aware of all the different early learning options for your child. You might be feeling overwhelmed trying to decide between daycare, preschool, and VPK. Here we break down the difference between daycare and VPK so you can determine the right fit for your family.
What is Daycare?
The primary purpose of daycare is to provide care for children who have working parents. They often accept children as young as 12 months and as old as five years. Daycare centers also offer flexible hours and are open year-round to accommodate your work schedule. Activities include group play, individual play, and motor skills activities. Programs may include time for singing, reading, and art. Since daycare centers are less education-oriented, the staff may not have formal training. Another downside is that because the group is generally smaller, kids of all ages are together. Your child’s care may be less personalized or appropriate for their age level.
What is VPK?
VPK stands for voluntary pre-kindergarten and the classes are designed to prepare your child for kindergarten and the years of schooling ahead. In Florida, VPK is a no-cost program for all children four years of age. Activities include introductions to science, art, numbers, reading, and manners. Field trips into the community are another essential part of a quality VPK education. At Dairy Road Discovery Center VPK, our curriculum is developed to help your child make advances in motor skills and social skills. Small class sizes allow teachers to work one on one with students and make sure they do not fall behind.
Choosing Between Daycare and VPK
Daycare programs are much different than VPK for four-year-old children. The question then becomes, which one is the right fit for your child? If your toddler is under the age of 4 but still needs care while you work or run errands, daycare is a great option. However, if your child is turning 4, you may want to start taking the next steps in their education. If it’s time for your child to graduate from daycare, choose VPK to begin preparing them for kindergarten and beyond. VPK is a more structured environment with a specific curriculum to help your child reach new milestones every day.
If you are located in Melbourne, Florida, and are looking into placing your child in a VPK program or preschool, choose Dairy Road Discovery Center. We provide a fun and loving atmosphere for your child to learn new things and achieve school readiness.