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Child Care and Day Care – What’s the difference?

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Child Care and Day Care – What’s the Difference?

Often used interchangeably, day care doesn’t tend to be used in the early childhood education sector as much anymore as it is seen as describing when staff work – during the day while parents are at work. Childcare has become the more readily used term, as it is more inclusive and covers a range of care options, not only for during the day, but also for night-time care and before and after school care.

Day care does still tend to be used when talking about long day care centres – that is

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centres that provide all-day or part-time care that offer developmental programs as well as care programs. At these centres, you will find meals tend be provided, and that they often also provide before and after school care for a limited number of primary school students, as well as care during school holidays.

Family day care is another sector that utilises the “day care” banner, however, while they provide care during the day, some carers are more flexible, providing care for primary school children, or care outside of normal hours or

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overnight.

Utilising “childcare” instead of “day care” also turns the spotlight onto the developmental needs of the children attending, and not the need of the parents.

Should I Stop Using the Term “Day Care”?

You aren’t going to be banned from your childcare centre if you use the term “day care” but many early learning educators do prefer the term “childcare” simply because it covers what they do. For some, using “day care” can feel a little dismissive, and while it seems like just words, the early childhood education

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sector is, in many ways, fighting to be seen as professional educators rather than just babysitters.

What Term Can I Use Instead of “Day Care”?

There are a few other terms you can use instead of day care that are widely accepted in the early education field – and many childcare centres now use these terms in their names.

Early childhood education centre
Childcare centre
Early learning centre
Child learning centres

What Kind of Care is Child Care?

As mentioned earlier, the term “childcare” is more inclusive than “day

SelfishMother.com
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care” simply because it covers a variety of care options.

Early childhood education centres provide childcare during standard hours, with some running full 12-hour days to cover those parents who start and finish work outside of the 9-5. These centres provide half-day and full-day care for children.

Family day care provides small group childcare in the carers home, and usually to children of a wider age range. Often, there will be up to 8 children in a FDC (depending on the number of carers), compared to 6 or 7 classes in an early education

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centre. FDC can provide a more flexible care option with some carers offering overnight stays.

Nannies are an option for families who need more care hours than a traditional early childhood centre can provide. They are more flexible, and provide individualised care, but the tend not to cover the same educational and developmental programs as childcare centres.

Au Pairs are becoming a popular option for families who are looking for a flexible live-in carer without the restrictions of a traditional childcare centre.

Whether talking about childcare

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or day care, the premise is the same – care for children under school age, in locations that are especially built or have been adapted to suit early childhood education and childcare services.

Treasured Tots provides high quality early education centres in Mandurah, Bibra Lake and Fremantle. These centres provide childcare programs as well as kindergarten programs which help prepare children for school. Following the Reggio Emilia Approach within the Early Years Learning Framework, the team at Treasured Tots guide children through their development

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utilising a variety of learning and educational tools.

Book a tour of one of the Treasured Tots childcare centres and find out how your child can benefit from an early education.

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- 17 Sep 20

Child Care and Day Care – What’s the Difference?

Often used interchangeably, day care doesn’t tend to be used in the early childhood education sector as much anymore as it is seen as describing when staff work – during the day while parents are at work. Childcare has become the more readily used term, as it is more inclusive and covers a range of care options, not only for during the day, but also for night-time care and before and after school care.

Day care does still tend to be used when talking about long day care centres – that is centres that provide all-day or part-time care that offer developmental programs as well as care programs. At these centres, you will find meals tend be provided, and that they often also provide before and after school care for a limited number of primary school students, as well as care during school holidays.

Family day care is another sector that utilises the “day care” banner, however, while they provide care during the day, some carers are more flexible, providing care for primary school children, or care outside of normal hours or overnight.

Utilising “childcare” instead of “day care” also turns the spotlight onto the developmental needs of the children attending, and not the need of the parents.

Should I Stop Using the Term “Day Care”?

You aren’t going to be banned from your childcare centre if you use the term “day care” but many early learning educators do prefer the term “childcare” simply because it covers what they do. For some, using “day care” can feel a little dismissive, and while it seems like just words, the early childhood education sector is, in many ways, fighting to be seen as professional educators rather than just babysitters.

What Term Can I Use Instead of “Day Care”?

There are a few other terms you can use instead of day care that are widely accepted in the early education field – and many childcare centres now use these terms in their names.

  • Early childhood education centre
  • Childcare centre
  • Early learning centre
  • Child learning centres

What Kind of Care is Child Care?

As mentioned earlier, the term “childcare” is more inclusive than “day care” simply because it covers a variety of care options.

Early childhood education centres provide childcare during standard hours, with some running full 12-hour days to cover those parents who start and finish work outside of the 9-5. These centres provide half-day and full-day care for children.

Family day care provides small group childcare in the carers home, and usually to children of a wider age range. Often, there will be up to 8 children in a FDC (depending on the number of carers), compared to 6 or 7 classes in an early education centre. FDC can provide a more flexible care option with some carers offering overnight stays.

Nannies are an option for families who need more care hours than a traditional early childhood centre can provide. They are more flexible, and provide individualised care, but the tend not to cover the same educational and developmental programs as childcare centres.

Au Pairs are becoming a popular option for families who are looking for a flexible live-in carer without the restrictions of a traditional childcare centre.

Whether talking about childcare or day care, the premise is the same – care for children under school age, in locations that are especially built or have been adapted to suit early childhood education and childcare services.

Treasured Tots provides high quality early education centres in Mandurah, Bibra Lake and Fremantle. These centres provide childcare programs as well as kindergarten programs which help prepare children for school. Following the Reggio Emilia Approach within the Early Years Learning Framework, the team at Treasured Tots guide children through their development utilising a variety of learning and educational tools.

Book a tour of one of the Treasured Tots childcare centres and find out how your child can benefit from an early education.

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Simone is the founder of the Treasured Tots Child Care network in Perth, WA. After first starting a day care in Melville, she couldn't help notice the constant enquiries, interest and rapid growth of the waiting list for quality education and care in the area. With the support of her husband, she has grown Treasured Tots into a quality early education child care network, with centres in Fremantle, Mandurah and Bibra Lake.

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