by Cathy B.

When I weighed the differences between nursery school and daycare, I have to say, nursery school always came on top. Although every school has their own set of policies, generally speaking, I found most nursery schools are more flexible and accommodating to my child’s individual needs.

There’s one nursery school in particular called Tender Years Co-operative School that should set the tone for all preschools. Here are the top five reasons why I prefer nursery school over daycare:

1. There’s no presha for the potty

I put enough pressure on myself to get the whole potty thing sorted out, so the last thing I need is a teacher telling me it’s time. When I was evaluating different schools, I realized that if they had a strict policy in place to allow ONLY potty trained children in, then they weren’t as considerate and sensitive as a school should be.

Some nursery schools, like where my own child attends, recognizes that children learn and develop at their own pace and do NOT require their students to be toilet trained to attend. If the school your child is attending pressures you to have your child potty trained, you may want to ‘can’ them! (Pun intended).

2. Full-time can equal over-time

Most daycares only offer full-time preschool programs – which is great for full-time working moms. This can be expensive! For stay-at-home-moms or for those who work part-time, there aren’t too many options to choose from when it comes to part-time schedules. Most nursery schools offer half day programs which are more affordable and flexible than daycare hours.

3. There’s no, “Um… hi, remember me?”

Daycares generally have large classes. Nursery schools, on the other hand, have a low student-to-teacher ratio. That means each child is able to receive the individual attention suited to their own needs.

Plus, there’s plenty of opportunity to get to know the teachers and other parents personally. Some nursery schools (like Tender Years) are co-operative schools, parents are encouraged to get involved in their children’s learning experience through family participation. By interacting regularly with teachers and other families through different events and activities, parents are in-the-know and it builds a strong sense of community.

4. Your kids won’t freeze their patooty off

The thing I love most about the nursery school my daughter is enrolled in versus a regular daycare is kids are not forced to go outside in below zero weather. We live in Canada, people! It’s cold! Every daycare that I visit insists that fresh air is good for kids.

Yes, this is true… in spring, summer and fall. I don’t dispute that the outdoors is great for exercise too. However, in my opinion, recess in minus twenty degree weather brings chills to my bones just thinking about it. I think every parent should have the option to take their kids outside on their own terms, time and temperature in the winter months!

5. You’re not paying for your kid to have “quiet time”

When I found out that most half-day nursery schools don’t have nap time, I was thrilled. Most children nap until the age of two or three, but my daughter outgrew her nap even before that. Since resting during the day delays her bedtime, I never pushed the issue. As a result, we are lucky to enjoy a good night’s rest.

At daycares, they do push the issue. This means some parents are nagging their kids to “go to bed” at night. Like most active kids, my daughter challenges ‘quiet time’. In fact, when she’s not tired, she’s extra vocal to make an unquiet point.  YES… resting is absolutely and positively great for kids (parents AND teachers included). But, if kids are not willing to nap, then in my opinion, having them lie down and stare at the ceiling for over an hour might not be the most productive way for kids to be spending their time – and you spending your money.


So, there you have it. If you live in the Mississauga/Oakville area, I highly recommend the nursery school Tender Years. Their tagline is “Where Young Minds Soar.” My daughter’s smile is a true testimony to that!




Maria Lianos-Carbone is Publisher/Editor of amotherworld. Follow her on Twitter @amotherworld and @lifeandtravelca.

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