Are Preschool and Pre-k the Same?

While both preschool and pre-k are offered at many early childhood centers, they are in fact not the same thing and offer very different services and curriculum for your child. While pre-k focuses on school readiness and academic skills, preschool is often focused on play-based experiences.

Preschool programs can serve children between 2 and 4 years old, while Pre-K is usually reserved for 4 and 5 year olds. Preschool programs are often focused on play-based experiences that are driven by the children’s interests and may be more similar to a day care setting. In a pre-k program there are more focused, intentional academic experiences, such as learning letters and numbers with a structured daily schedule with specific learning outcomes.

Pre-K programs are designed to promote the academic and social- emotional skills needed for children to be successful in kindergarten and beyond. Preschool and pre-k may seem the same on the surface, but in reality offer very different experiences for your child.

Read more here to learn about the importance of Early Childhood Education.

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