Children sitting in a circle clapping

Daycare vs Private School: What is your Plan for Your Child’s Educational Journey?

As a parent, choosing the right early education environment for your child is a significant decision. The first nine years of life are the foundation for your child’s life forever .  If we get these right we have set up our children to be happy and successful.  The earliest years are the most important,  with the first year being the most critical. So as you embark on the beginning of your child’s educational journey ,  the first 5 years,  you have a choice between a daycare and private school.  Each option comes with its own set of considerations. In this blog, we will compare the benefits of private school vs daycare to help you make an informed choice for your child’s early education.


Daycare: Daycare centers usually focus on providing a safe and nurturing environment. They often follow a play-based or child-centered curriculum, promoting social and emotional development.

Private School: Private schools often have a structured curriculum that includes academic subjects, arts, and physical education. They aim to provide a more formal and rigorous educational experience, while children still get the benefits of social and emotional development by interacting with teachers and other children. 

Class Size

Daycare: Daycare centers often have larger class sizes, which can mean less individual attention for your child. However, this can also translate to lower rates.

Private School: Private schools typically have smaller class sizes, allowing for more personalized attention from teachers. Research shows this can be beneficial for early academic development.

Teacher Qualifications

Daycare: Daycare staff may have various levels of qualifications, from *general  education diploma (GED) or high school (HS) diplomas to early childhood education certifications.  In Texas child care providers are only required to have a GED or HS diploma Regulations for daycare staff qualifications vary by  state.

Private School: Private schools usually employ certified and experienced teachers who specialize in early childhood education (ECE) . They often have higher qualifications and training. This ensures that the teachers have expertise in child development and early childhood education  which prepares them to implement developmentally appropriate practices.  

These teachers understand that children under 5 learn best through play! 

Educational Approach

Daycare: State regulations require daycares to  provide care during the day in a safe, and healthy. environment. Academic learning is often introduced in a more casual and teacher- led manner.

Private School: Private schools tend to have a more structured approach to academics, with a focus on preparing children for formal schooling and expedited development. For example, children at I’m Just a Kid follow a curriculum specifically designed for their age group and development level, which you can learn more about on our curriculum page.


Daycares class to teacher ratios are determined by each state.  In Texas the ratios are:

Age Range
1 Provider
2 Providers
0-12 months
4 kids
10 kids
13-17 months
5 kids
13 kids
18-23 months
9 kids
18 kids
2 years
11 kids
22 kids
3 years
15 kids
30 kids
4 years
18 kids
35 kids
5 years
22 kids
35 kids

Private Schools typically have lower ratios and many follow higher standards set out by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).  Ratios are significantly lower,  for example for 2s , NAEYC standards are 6:1  or 12:2.


Daycare: Daycare centers may offer limited extracurricular activities, depending on their resources. Activities may include arts and crafts, outdoor play, and music.

Private School: Private schools often provide a wider range of extracurricular activities, such as sports, foreign languages, and music lessons. These activities can enhance a child’s overall development. These activities are often supplemental to their education and help them to learn in new ways.  * At IJAK we do yoga year round (research )Benefits of yoga for kids *

Parental Involvement

Daycare: Daycare centers may have varying degrees of parental involvement, with some encouraging active participation in their child’s daily activities.

Private School: Private schools often involve parents in the educational process, including parent-teacher conferences and school events. Parents are vital to children’s growth and development, and private schools do their part to make sure parents are as involved as possible.


Daycare: Daycare rates  tend  to be lower than private schools, due to higher class ratios , and lower pay for teachers with less formal education. 

While rates may be more appealing to parents , children receive less attention and primary care vs care and an education.

Private School: Private schools are an investment in a child’s future.  Rates are higher due to lower ratios meaning fewer tuitions to collect;  and higher compensation for teachers who have  a formal Education  and/or are experience. 


Daycares are usually owned by franchises or smaller companies whose primary goal is to have a business that makes a profit.  Typically these owners have experience or degrees in business. These owners are rarely seen at their own daycares.

Private Schools are typically own by professionals who have degrees in early childhood.  Their goals are to impact the lives of children. Often these owners are the directors and are often on their school campuses. *IJAK , meet Ms.Vicki*

Choosing between daycare vs private school for children under 5 depends on your family’s needs and priorities. Daycare is a more cost-effective option that focuses on social and emotional development, while private schools offer a structured academic environment with smaller class sizes and qualified teachers. Ultimately, your decision should be based on what aligns best with your child’s needs, your budget, and your educational philosophy. Consider visiting both types of institutions, speaking with educators, and assessing your child’s individual requirements to make an informed choice.

 I’m Just a Kid is a private school that supports your child’s development during the most important years of life,  the first 5 !  We have a Five Year Plan,  to help you start your child’s educational journey, reading. If you believe you want your child to benefit from a private school at an early childhood education center like ours, reach out and schedule a tour today!

Like this article? Share it with someone you know!

We visited I’m Just a Kid after visiting 6 other early childhood centers and crying at the thought of leaving our first born after our leave was over! To say we breathed a sigh of relief at finding, I’m Just a Kid is an understatement! We have been a part of the family for 6 years, with our first now in kindergarten and our second child still at I’m Just a Kid. We felt so prepared for kinder and the transition was a breeze thanks to I’m Just a Kid. No matter if your child is succeeding or needing some extra love and attention, the I’m Just a Kid family is there to help your family along the way. I’m Just a Kid really is more than “just” a daycare!
Tara Karns-Wright
I’m just a kid not only taught my daughter, they cared for her like a family member. As an educator, I was seeking a daycare that could meet my needs. We found more than a daycare. We found a place that cared deeply for the social, emotional, academic, and cultural needs of our daughter. Now that she is in fourth grade, we still talk about I’m just a kid and the amazing staff that cared so deeply for her. Thank you I’m just a kid for laying the foundation and helping create a better world through education.
Bradley Tarrance
I’m Just a Kid is a wonderful place for my child, for any child, to learn, to play, and to grow. Mrs. Vicki and her wonderful team of teachers truly create an environment that is safe and loving. My son was having a difficult time at his previous school. We reached out to Mrs. Vicki and through her guidance and support he’s happy again! His teachers are passionate about seeing him succeed and they bring out the best in him. Our family is so grateful for our I’m Just A Kid Family.
Laura Riebesehl
We had our two children at I’m Just a Kid for multiple years ranging from six months to four years old and we were so happy to have them there. They learned, played, and grew every day. The school always had the kids’ best interest at heart, and we always felt they were being well cared for while also learning and growing every day. We are so happy with how well I’m Just a Kid prepared our children for kindergarten.
Kirk M. Tracy

Schedule a Tour!