What’s the Difference Between a Nursery and a Preschool?

‘Nursery’ and ‘preschool’ are terms that are often used interchangeably by parents and teachers alike, but this isn’t to say that they are the same thing. In fact, there are some key differences between nurseries and preschools. So, which is right for you?

Nursery or Preschool, Which is Right for You?

● A nursery will usually care for children from six weeks of age until they start primary school, with some even caring for school age children. However, a preschool will usually care for children between the ages of three and five who are not yet old enough to start primary school.
● A preschool is often used by parents who want to prepare their children for full time education. Instead of a child starting their education when they enter reception, a preschool gives them a structured environment that will help them with this transition. However, a nursery is more commonly used by parents who want to combine this structured educational environment with professional childcare.
● A nursery will usually care for children on a full time or part time basis, depending on the needs of the parents. At a preschool children will only stay for two or three hours at a time, either as part of a morning or afternoon session.
● Whereas preschools operate during standard school hours and in short sessions, nurseries generally open for much longer hours. Many nurseries will open as early as 7am and close at around 7pm, to fit in around the working hours of parents.
● Most preschools will follow the same term times as standard schools, having half term breaks and long summer holidays. However, nurseries will stay open during these times. For example, at The Muswell Hill Nursery we are open 51 weeks of the year.
● Though nurseries and preschools both aim to teach the children in their care, nurseries also factor in a number of social activities into the day. This isn’t always possible at a preschool, as most preschools are required to follow the national curriculum.

Whether you choose a nursery or a preschool for your child will largely depend on your personal requirements. If you require childcare but still want your child to benefit from a structured learning environment, you may want to consider enrolling them in a nursery. To find out more about Muswell Hill Nursery and Preschool, get in touch. Contact us today on 020 3319 7332 or via the online contact form.