What's Right For Your Family? Educational Childcare Vs. A Babysitter

Posted on: 29 June 2019

How does educational childcare differ from babysitting services? If you're torn between hiring a nanny or sending your child to preschool, take a look at the differences between the two and how your child can benefit from an early learning experience.

What Is an Educational Childcare Service?

Educational childcare, or preschool, goes beyond what a sitter, nanny, or daycare center offers. Like the name implies, your child will get an education during their childcare day. The specific curriculum included in these services depends on the school/center and its educational philosophy.

Common content areas covered in early childhood education classrooms include:

  • Literacy. Early literacy activities focus on reading basics (such as letter and sound recognition), language, and communication, so you can expect to see plenty of age-appropriate books and writing materials in the preschool classroom.
  • Math. While your child isn't ready to learn algebra and long division, they can develop basic math skill such as number identification, counting (up to 10 or in some cases higher), measuring, and creating patterns.
  • Science. Early childhood science activities play to the preschooler's natural sense of curiosity—these lessons include nature, biology, outer space, physics, and chemistry.
  • Social studies. Many preschool classrooms cover social studies topics ranging from community helpers to cultures across the globe.

Along with these primary subject areas, early educational services may also include activities or lessons in the visual and performing arts.

How Does Babysitting Differ?

Early educational experiences and babysitting often overlap when it comes to basic services. The overlaps may include caring for your child and providing a loving, safe place for them to stay while you're away (at work or school).

Even though both babysitters and preschools provide care, the early learning childcare center also offers:

  • Educational activities. Again, preschools and other early learning environments focus on a curriculum based around fundamental learning areas such as literacy, math, science, and social studies.
  • Social experiences. While a daycare center may also offer social experiences, hiring a babysitter or nanny won't provide the same level of peer relationship building as a preschool would.
  • Trained educators. Preschool teachers have extensive training in early childhood development and instructional methods—the same isn't always true for babysitters.

While some babysitters may not have the same qualifications or background you'd find in a preschool educator, others do. If this is a deciding factor, talk to both the sitter and the early childhood teacher about their education, experience, and knowledge of child development.

The decision whether to send your young learner to educational childcare or hire a babysitter is extremely personal. Visit schools, interview sitters, and consider what's right for your child, their needs, and your family.

For more information, contact local professionals like those found at Kid Academy.


learning beyond the curriculum

I wanted to be as hands-on with my son's education as possible. I also wanted to expand his education beyond what he was learning in school at the time. I started looking for different resources that we could use for him to learn interesting things that he enjoys learning about. My blog is all about going beyond the curriculum in your child's school. You will find tips and ideas that can help you keep your child's interest in learning and make the learning process much more fun for you and your child now and many years into the future.