The initial years of your child are crucial and help them decide the path for their future. They develop abilities and interests that shape their future. The children are more receptive in their early years. It is our responsibility to tap their potential and make it an enriching experience for them.
When you start to look for different childcare options before formal schooling, it is good to understand the pros and cons of each. You must provide an environment to your child that is safe and encourages learning with fun.
Are you in a dilemma to choose between a Montessori or daycare for your child?
Before taking the final call to opt for a Montessori or daycare for your child, let us understand what each of them is and how they function.
What is a Montessori?
Montessori method of education supports children learning by exploring and being hands-on in their activities. Here the children are encouraged to realize their full potential by working in groups and individually with their creativity and imagination.
It applies to all age groups. The Montessori teachers guide the children in their learning process and allow them to choose the activity of their interest rather than forcing them to do something of their choice.
What is Daycare?
Daycares are ideal for working parents who can not be with their children round the clock due to various constraints. The daycares take care of babies from infancy through school age.
Their schedule comprises playtime, snack time, and naptime with some selective activities for children. There may be learning opportunities for children based on the activities.
The benefits of daycares include interaction with other children, developing speech, and enabling their smooth transition to formal school.
There are many differences between Montessori and daycare that parents must understand. They must not confuse them with each other.
Montessori and daycares are similar in the only way that parents drop their children in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon or later. The parents get assured that Montessori and daycare facilities take care of their children and engage them in activities while they are at work.
You must understand how they differ in their functioning and objectives for children before enrolling your child.
Difference between Montessori and Daycare
1) Daily schedule
Montessori encourages children to pick up activities according to their interests. They can choose puzzles, dancing, singing or painting.
Daycares follow a strict schedule in which children perform activities in scheduled times like playtime, storytime, etc.
2) Method of learning
Montessori has specially designed materials that come with a purpose and help children develop their cognitive and social skills. These materials improve concentration and instill creativity in children. Montessori toys and activities help to improve social and motor skills. Playing board games and puzzles enhances finger strength, problem-solving skills, and concentration.
The children are free to grow at their own pace and learn things naturally.
Daycares, on the other hand, are designed to entertain the children. They have poster-covered walls, battery-powered toys, and colorful furniture. They do not offer the children to explore or learn through creative activities.
3) Age groups
Montessori has environments that have children of mixed age groups. Children from 2.5 to 6 years of age may be in a group where children learn in a collaborative environment. The older children guide the young ones and young children learn from their older peers.
Daycares follow the approach of dividing the children according to age groups. Teachers plan activities as per their abilities to learn. Kids learn from each other by working in groups.
Montessori teachers act as guides and emphasize the individual needs of the children. They do not interfere in their activities and observe the child-directed activities.
They offer guidance and presentations as required by the children for independent learning.
Daycare teachers direct the children in their daily activities. They lead the children to perform the tasks.
5) Holistic approach
Montessori focuses on the nurture of social, physical, emotional, and cognitive development of the children. It includes collaborating with peers in which the older students mentor the younger ones, developing cooperation and leadership skills. The children learn empathy, care, and the duty of good citizens while learning in such an environment. It leads to the complete development of children as an individual.
Daycares merely focus on taking care of the children and introducing them to basic educational concepts.
Montessori helps children learn self-discipline. Teachers motivate children to behave well and not punish or reward them when they misbehave. The teachers encourage children to develop an understanding of right and wrong naturally.
Critical thinking and reasoning are introduced at an early age in Montessori. Teachers create an ideal environment to develop inner discipline in children.
In daycare, children follow the instructions of the teacher and act accordingly.
From the cost perspective, Montessori is a bit costly. Daycares are cheap and affordable.
Before deciding where you want to put your child, you must understand the difference between a daycare and Montessori.
Montessori offers child-led education where children learn at their own pace. Daycare focuses on the safety of your child with basic education concepts.
You can choose Montessori or daycare for your child based on your convenience and budget.
What is most important for the child is to have caring and concerned parents and a good environment where they develop naturally.