Below are a summary of the differences between childcare and kindergarten.
1. Shorter hours of school
The kindergarten, which I enrolled her in, is a 3 hours session for K1 and Nurseries. K2 children would attend 1 hour longer. Hence, a 3-4 hour session may sometimes be a mad rush for the caregivers.
Most Childcare Centres operated from 7 am to 7 pm daily and half a day , from 7 am to 2 pm, on Saturdays.
2. No nap. No bathing. No brushing of teeth
Unlike childcare centre, children are not staying full day in the kindergarten, there is no need to bring mattress cover and toothbrush, toothpaste and mugs to and fro school every week
3. Lighter bag
Compared to the days where she attended childcare, she now carries a lighter bag. She used to bring 2 sets of clothes, including 1 set of uniform, a towel for drying up after bath, a plastic bag for dirty clothes and a big water bottle. (It is not a must, but since she was staying full day then, might as well do so)
Now, she brings 1 set of home clothes and a smaller water bottle. In both cases, stationeries are provided in school.
There is homework every weekend as compared to her previous childcare.
I believe childcare centre also have worksheets for the their kindergarten children but they are likely to be done in school. Occasionally, homework is brought home to reinforce what they had learnt in school. However, it is noted that not all schools, including kindergarten, give homework for preschoolers.
5. School Holiday
Kindergartens follow the stipulated school holidays as Primary and Secondary schools + 3 days of unscheduled holidays. Childcare centres is opened throughout the whole year except on Sundays and Public Holidays. They operate half days on Saturdays, New Year Eve, Chinese New Year Eve and Christmas Eve. They are also allowed to be closed for 5.5 days of unscheduled holidays.
Communication between school and parentsBoth schools have a communicate book for parents to communicate with the teachers. The kindergarten would sent a report each week informing what was being done in school academically whereas the previous childcare centre updated parents on the website and email.
Changes we face ever since the change
Speech ExpressionShe is more expressive now. She would report to me what she had been doing in school but recently she is bored of reporting and even asked me why I am asking the same questions everyday. She would compare her current school against her previous one. She questioned about why they have no naps, brushing of teeth and bathing and she asked about why she need to say prayers before mealtime. ( I sent her to a church kindergarten) Of course, her growing up plays a part.
Within walking distanceThe new school is within walking distance. We could save on transportation. The last childcare we attended was a few bus stops away. Sad to say, the childcare centres within our vicinity are full. Hence, we have to change her to kindergarten instead.
_________________________________________________________________________The purpose of this post is not to compare which is better. Childcare centre and kindergarten each have their pros and cons. It is up to the parent to decide what is suits their requirement and what is best for their child.
So, how does she feel about the new school? She loves her current school as well. There is no preference. I am glad about the switch although it would have meant that we would have lesser household income.
Source: For more information about the differences between a childcare centre and a kindergarten , read here