The Difference Between Preschool and Kindergarten?

28/09/2016

A lot of people ask this question – what is the difference between preschool and kindergarten?  And more importantly, they want to know which one would support the goals they have intended for their children.

Many people believe there isn’t a big difference between these two, but there are.  Sure, both have craft projects, songs and singing, and games which stimulate fine motor skills.  On the outside they look similar, but everything from the quality of teachers and the curriculum can change depending on which program you pick.  Choosing the right course for your child is something that should never be taken lightly.  So, without further ado, this little school from PJ is going over the subtle and dramatic differences between preschool and kindergarten.

Kindergarten

Typically, kindergarten programmes have three characteristics:

1) their program standards

2) the typical age is around three (3) to four (4) year olds

3) the focus is on preparation for school readiness.

Playschool is a lot like kindergarten, except it is more play-based learning.  The interesting thing about playschool is not only does it prepare the child for higher learning, but it is done through the use of whole-brain education.  Have you ever tried getting a two-year old to sit still, be quiet and listen to a teacher for extended periods of time?  It doesn’t always work.  This is where play-based learning comes in handy – it acknowledges that a child has different needs and attention spans, and builds an educational programme around their needs.

Preschool

Preschools on the other hand, vary in their approach and focus, and serve a wider age range of children. For instance, our daughter attended a play-based preschool co-op for ages 3-5, which didn’t focus on kindergarten academic standards. However, it did include activities that helped with reading, math and science skills, and our daughter was very well prepared for primary one. Some preschools do focus on academics, and others offer a combination of play and academics.

Kindergarten is offered and governed  by your school district – in our case, the Petaling Jaya district –  you and your munchkin will be at the mercy of the school’s calendar, meaning you’ll have to figure out what to do with her for those intermittent weeks of school holiday throughout the year. Little Human Scholars, on the other hand, is a full-service nursery, preschool, playschool and daycare center which offers daycare on holidays for an additional fee.  Thank goodness for that!  Not everyone has the luxury of sending their children to their parents during a school holiday while you have to continue working.

Little Human Scholars is more than just a premiere kindergarten near Jaya One, Jaya33 and University Hospital:  it is a kindergarten that caters to the students AS WELL AS the parents.

Think about it, how many kindergartens in PJ have you visited that offer CCTV access for parents (many have CCTV but it is for the staff and teachers only), meal services and even transportation services?  If that isn’t enough, Little Human Scholars kindergarten also opens earlier and stays later than most of the kindergartens in PJ, daycare centres in PJ, playschools in PJ and nurseries too!  Boasting impressive hours that start from 7:30am and offering daycare that lasts Monday through Friday until 7:00pm, our centre delivers far beyond what any ordinary kindergarten near Jaya One or kindergarten in PJ offers.

So let’s recap exactly what sort of kindergarten Little Human Scholars is:

  • Little Human Scholars offers extended daycare hours after the kindergarten session is over (7:30am – 7:00pm);
  • Little Human Scholars offers additional services such as meals and transportation services (in PJ);
  • Little Human Scholars offers CCTV access to parents via a mobile phone app absolutely free upon registration;
  • Little Human Scholars offers weekend babysitting services so long as a couple of days notice is given;

In short, if you aren’t quite sure what would be best for your child, my suggestion is to pick a centre which offers it all.  And as someone who used to formally work there and see the inner operations and day-to-day management, I must say that if I was currently living in Malaysia and had a small child, this school would be the first place I picked!

Wishing you happy parenting experiences!

Jana Moreno

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