11 thoughts on “Wackadoodle

  1. There’s preschool, which is usually about 3-4 years old, and then there’s pre-kindergarten, which is the year of preschool right before kindergarten. And then there’s kindergarten, followed by grades 1-12, etc.

    In some places there’s a slight difference between preschool and pre-K, but not all the time. Sometimes the four-year-olds are in a separate class from the younger kids, but again, it depends on the preschool.


      1. Some daycares may offer preschool/pre-kindergarten. Kindergarten itself is part of the grade school system, in which it’s like a grade 0 of sorts. There are some places where kindergarten is its own school because of different schedules, but those are still usually connected to the district.

        So, unless the daycare is attached to a primary school (this does happen occasionally, usually with private schools but sometimes with public or state schools), kindergarten will be in a different place. Look for elementary schools in your area (usually they specify that they’re K-5 or K-6 or something like that, which means kindergarten through 5th or 6th grade, respectively).


  2. Preschool and daycare aren’t terribly different for children in the 3-4 age range. Generally preschools offer more organized, enrichment sort of activities– more songs, reading books out loud, teaching colors, or maybe the ABCs etc. etc. Daycares tend to be a bit more focused a bit more on the physical needs of the child. But’s that only a very rough division–not a hard and fast rule at all.

    More largely, I think the term “preschool” is related to American cult of the housewife. Most American women feel good about placing their children in “preschool” as it suggest their children are gaining additional educational opportunities while “daycare” suggests that other people are “caring” for their own children as they “selfishly” pursue careers.


    1. Ok, I should have read this comment first. Ok, it’s getting clearer. So our daycare is not really daycare, right? Because they call themselves school and they have preschool right there, as well as kindergarten.

      Thank you, this is really helping.


      1. I’m glad I can help. I got a teaching credential and taught junior high and high school before I went for my PhD. So I’m happy to answer any questions.

        And yes. It sounds like you daughter is in a preschool instead of a daycare. Another difference between preschool and daycare is teacher education. Preschool teachers generally have degrees–sometimes even advanced degrees–and have formally studied Eary Childhood Development. Daycare providers more generally have the minimum education units required by law. So if you refer to the facility as a”daycare” in front of the teachers, you may be (are likely) insulting them!

        And many preschools do offer private Kindergarten at their facilities. šŸ™‚


        1. Oh! This is good to know. Yes, the teachers all have degrees in early childhood education. Some are getting their MAs. Shit, I had no idea. Thank you for telling me.


  3. Is it true that people now fail kindergarten? That you need a prep course to be ready to survive kindergarten academically? I have heard this.


    1. “Is it true that people now fail kindergarten? That you need a prep course to be ready to survive kindergarten academically? I have heard this.”

      -No. Maybe in some super expensive, super hyped up private schools. But the No Child Left Behind Act means that even kids with severe learning disabilities from go on to first grade eventually, even if they need to be held back for a certain period of time.

      But those are kids with really severe learning disabilities. Most kids just go through kindergarten like normal, on the first try.

      Pre-K is particularly advantageous in providing more structure and enrichment than in daycares or at home. Kids who may not have had the same kind of enrichment or positive social experiences — not everyone attends daycare, let alone a daycare that provides enrichment — have a chance to catch up (and the gradation of structure throughout the year gives a good indication of what will eventually be expected in kindergarten), so that they can start on more of an equal footing. And for the kids who have come from another country, or who have only spoken a language other than English at home, it’s important for them to get their English language exposure as early as possible.


        1. “Ok, Iā€™m now completely confused. The preschool and kindergarten are at the daycare? Right? Is there a difference?”

          -There are three things: preschool, pre-kindergarten, and kindergarten. If it’s labeled as preschool/kindergarten, it’s possible that they offer preschool and pre-kindergarten, rather than kindergarten itself. I’d talk to an administrator or teacher at Klara’s daycare to be sure, though.

          Does the daycare have a maximum age limit? That may be able to give you an indication, too. Kids generally start kindergarten at ages 4-5 depending on their birthday, and turn 5-6 during that school year. So if the daycare has a maximum age of 4 or 5, it’s slightly less likely that they offer kindergarten (as opposed to pre-kindergarten).


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