Preschool and Playschool: Tomaeto Tomaato?

by SchoolWiser Last Updated 21-May-15
Preschool and Playschool: Tomaeto Tomaato? | SchoolWiser Blog Featured Image

Today there is a lot of awareness among the new parents about the overall development of their child before he steps into elementary school. They know very well that the human brain develops the maximum in the initial 4-5 years of life. They want to get there child to pick up the maximum without making him stressed. So there is a talk of preschools, learning while playing in play schools and amazing curriculum of Montessori. There are others who are content with Day Care and crèches. But I often observe many parents get jumbled up in these institutions and incorrectly referring to them – be it calling a preschool a day care or say Montessori when they actually just mean a regular play school. So let us understand these terms in their right prospective.


The dictionary meaning of Preschool is a school for children usually younger than those attending elementary school. Preschool is an all-encompassing term and usually cater to children between 18 months to 6 years. For the sake of understanding, we should think of it as a term that combines play school and pre-primary. It has been generally observed that schools that offer play and pre-primary programs or introduce a more formal structure as the child nears 3 years as opposed to just play based learning tern to refer to them as pre-schools rather than play schools.

List of some of the leading pre-schools in Gurgaon:

  1. Amiown preschool
  2. Kidzee preschool
  3. Intellitots preschool
  4. iBambini preschool
  5. Klay preparatory school
  6. Shemrock playschool
  7. EuroKids preschool
  8. Bachpan play school
  9. Mother’s Pride
  10. Modern Montessori International (MMI)


Play school

Commonly a playschool is interchangeably used for preschool, but it is in fact a type of preschool meant for the children between the ages of 18 months and 4 years. As the name suggests, it engages with children through play-based education. The programmes at a play school are usually referred to as playgroup and pre-nursery. It relates to the time in a child’s life when he or she is old enough to walk and talk but not yet ready for completely structured days of school. Children can attend a play school until they start formal school (grade 1) or they may leave to start Nursery before starting formal school. Three handy tips to spot a play school would be – their timings are shorter than that of regular school (generally 3 hours), children are not dressed in uniform and parents would be required to pickup & drop their child i.e. no transport facility.

List of some of the leading play schools in Gurgaon:

  1. Shri Ram Global Pre-School (SRGS)
  2. The Shri Ram Early Years (TSEY)
  3. Pathways Early Years
  4. Medhaam
  5. Pumpkin House play school
  6. Footprints play school
  7. Apple Blossom
  8. Pallavan



While pre-primary literally means the same thing as pre-school, but it is more specifically used to refer to the more structured grades of Nursery, Kindergarten or Preparatory that lead into the formal primary school. So this would be a subset of pre-school, but is mostly found integrated with the formal schools.

List of some fo the leading Pre-Primary Schools in Gurgaon:

  1. Shri Ram Global School (SRGS) Pre-Primary Wing
  2. The Shri Ram School (TSRS)
  3. Pathways School
  4. Amiown
  5. Modern Montessori International (MMI)
  6. Kidzee
  7. Shermrock
  8. EuroKids



The word owes its origin to an Italian physician and educator, by the name Maria Montessori. She had brought about a methodology of teaching young children that laid emphasis on development of natural capability and resourcefulness. It is thus a curriculum and ideology of learning for the children and not a grade itself. A few other early year education ideologies that you may hear are Reggio Emilia, Waldorf and Bank Street.

List of some of the leading Montessori schools in Gurgaon:

  1. Salwan Montessori School
  2. Modern Montessori International (MMI)


Day care

It is a care centre for children during the day time. When the parents of children or family members of the adults are busy at the work place and there is no one available to take care of them that is when the Day care comes in handy. It may be a full-fledged organization, a day care program or simply a managed place or centre. Thus one can see that Day care is having a smaller purpose than that of a Preschool. It caters to the safety and care aspect of the children and does not cover the education and development part. A daycare would usually run for the full day to cover regular day working hours.

List of some of the leading Day cares in Gurgaon:

  1. Pallavan daycare
  2. Footprints daycare
  3. Pumpkin House Child Care
  4. Intellitots daycare
  5. Klay daycare
  6. Vishesh Kids day care



Crèche is a subset of Day Care as it mostly only caters to younger children only. It is a place or centre where young children are cared for when their parents are away for work. The safety, hygiene, food and care aspects of the children are taken care of. They play, enjoy, sleep and eat till the parents are back from their work to pick them up. Crèches can take care of children when they are a few months’ old. Again, like daycares they run for the full day to cover regular day working hours.

List of some of the leading Crèche in Gurgaon:

  1. Intellitots crèche
  2. Klay crèche
  3. Footprints crèche
  4. Vishesh Kids crèche


By having a feel of all the words listed here one can definitely look forward to a correct usage of the same. So if you are looking to park your children in a safe and hygienic environment where there daily needs are taken care of you need to approach a crèche or a Day Care centre for children. Montessori is a philosophy of education. If you are looking for the holistic development of your child in a rather informal setting you have to be at a Play School. It is worth noting that a lot of institutions may be providing the full spread of pre-school programs ranging from playgroup to KG, but they may just be popular for only a portion such as play school or pre-primary. Seeing what they call themselves may be a good starting point.

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