How to Choose Between Montessori or Daycare: 10 Questions to Make Decision

If you are still indecisive about whether to choose Montessori or daycare, these 10 questions may help you decide. Here is how to choose between Montessori and daycare and what you need to know about them.

Montessori is an educational method and philosophy developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, who was an Italian physician, educator, and proponent of women’s rights. 

The goal of the modern-day Montessori method is to foster independence in young children through exploration of their environment. This is done by providing a self-directed, supportive environment that engages kids in (and exposes them to) learning activities, rather than passively being taught.

Montessori advocates have become highly successful, with many headmistresses owning their own businesses and having high-end careers. 

Montessori vs Daycare

Newspapers around the world have praised Montessori as one of the best ways to educate your child. The method has spread to many parts of the world, from the United States and Canada to Europe or Asia.

In contrast, daycare is a form of early childhood education in which children are cared for by people who are not their legal guardians while parents work through the day. 

In some countries, such as the US, “daycare” refers specifically to care for infants and toddlers, while “daycare” for older children is called a day camp. Daycare can be provided in the child’s own home or through an external commercial business.

Daycares are largely unregulated by most countries, with most governments recognizing that they are not equipped to provide care to children on a 24-hour basis. 

As such, they are watched over by government departments of child welfare. Daycares in some countries–notably the United States, Canada, and the UK–can be subject to licensing under relevant legislation.

Many parents choose to leave their children in daycare when both parents work full-time. 

A typical arrangement for working parents is that one parent drops off the child when going to work and picks up the child on the way home, while the other is a stay-at-home parent. 

Others in full-time employment simply leave their children at daycare for a standard eight-hour working day.

In some cases, parents have their children in after-school care so they can attend evening classes or enjoy a social life. 

Daycare centers are operated by multiple owners, who may be required to obtain licensing in order for their business to operate legally.

How to Choose Between Montessori and Daycare

why choose montessori preschool

1) What is your budget?

Montessori schools tend to be more expensive than daycares, but the cost may vary depending on location. 

You can also inquire about scholarships or payment plans if you’re really keen on sending your children to a reputable Montessori school.

Daycare costs depend on how many kids are in each class and where you live. 

Be sure to compare the prices of different daycare services and ask about their payment plans and discounts before deciding on a certain service.

2) What is your schedule?

If you work full-time, then daycare might be the more sensible choice for you. 

This way, your children are already in after-school care while you’re at work and they get to have a fun time when both parents come home.

Related Topic: Montessori vs Daycare

If your schedule is flexible, then going with a Montessori school may be better because it allows your children a lot of freedom in their activities throughout the day. 

You can take them out whenever you want to tend to other business or personal matters, and then you can just pick them up later when it’s time to go home.

3) What kind of environment do you want for your child?

If your main priority is your child’s development–intellectually, socially, and emotionally–then Montessori schools may be better for you. 

During the day, children are expected to learn how to take care of themselves and they’re given the space to do so.

No one is there to constantly watch over them or insist that they take certain actions.

Daycares are much more regulated in terms of what goes on during the day, which means you can expect your child’s basic needs (i.e., food, health care, and education) to be taken care of even if your main priority is your child’s emotional growth.

4) Are you looking for a school with a specific teaching style?

is montessori preschool worth it

Montessori schools use the Montessori Method as their basis of instruction. The method uses many hands-on activities for kids and focuses on developing a child’s independence and creativity.

Daycares use various teaching methods, but one of the most popular ones is called “curriculum-based learning,” which means a focus on a specific curriculum–typically either an academic curriculum or a pre-academic curriculum based on tools such as number lines, blocks, etc.

5) What kind of education do your children need?

If you want to give your children a pre-school experience, then daycare centers are the way to go. 

They have activities and educational tools for kids from age 3 up until they’re 5 or 6. Some even extend their services all the way through elementary school.

6) What religious and cultural factors play a role in your family?

If you’re not primarily motivated by money, then religion can be very important to consider when choosing between Montessori and daycare. 

Most Montessori schools are Christian-based, but that’s not always the case. 

You should ask whether or not they’re willing to adapt their lessons and activities for those who aren’t Christian.

If you’re Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, or Buddhist (etc.), then the daycare center you choose should also be respectful about these matters. 

You can ask whether or not they give kids non-halal/kosher food, what sort of religious knowledge is being taught, and if they’re willing to accommodate your family’s needs.

7) How do you want your child to learn?

If you have a specific teaching method in mind for your children, then choosing between Montessori schools and daycares may be difficult. 

A good daycare center will most likely try its best to meet your wishes, but it’s not always possible to do so.

8) Is there any physical condition that needs to be taken into consideration?

If you have a child that has physical limitations or special needs, then both Montessori schools and daycares can accommodate this. 

However, whether they’re able to meet your children’s needs and limitations will depend on the resources they have available to them.

Montessori schools, for instance, might not be able to accommodate a child that requires special accommodations. 

You’ll definitely want to find out before enrolling your children in such a school.

9) What’s your parenting style?

If freedom is very important to you as a parent, then daycares may be the right choice for you. 

You can ask your daycare about what sort of activities and lessons they provide and what rules and procedures they follow, and decide whether or not those fit your parenting style.

If you like to have more influence over your child’s education (e.g., selecting specific books to read), then you might want to consider a Montessori school.

10) What’s your child’s temperament?

If your child is very young, then they’re probably more adaptable when it comes to new environments and teachers. 

It means that both Montessori schools and daycares can work for them at this stage of their lives.

The younger you start your children at either daycare or Montessori schools, the more likely it is that they’ll adjust to their new environment.

Getting to Know the Montessori & Daycare

There are a variety of factors to consider when you choose between Montessori and Daycare for your child. This guide will help give you the information that you need to make this important decision.

Some people prefer daycare because they do not like the idea of giving up control over their children’s education and care while at school.

While most schools strictly prohibit disruptive behavior, some parents worry that other students might influence their children. 

Daycare can give parents a degree of peace of mind by watching over their children while they are away from home.

In some countries, such as the United States, daycares are not regulated in the same way that Montessori schools are. 

In other jurisdictions, such as Quebec or Alberta, Canada, government regulation is required for daycares to be considered legal.

Montessori schools are also more likely to provide parents with information about their children’s progress in school, including detailed reports on how they are doing socially and academically.

Daycares do not usually give out this kind of information because it is the responsibility of the parents to monitor their child’s academic performance.

Compare the costs of Montessori and daycare to determine which is a better fit for you. This will help you make the choice that is right for your child.

Montessori education has been around since 1907 when Dr. Maria Montessori first opened her school in Italy. In this time, it has become an established form of education, with schools popping up across the world.

The key difference between Montessori schools and ordinary elementary schools is that Montessori places emphasis on the child’s freedom to explore materials rather than just memorizing facts. 

It means that students are not required to follow any set curriculum, but instead are given the freedom to choose the activities that they want to do.


Montessori education is based on the principle that children learn best by doing, so all learning in this format is self-directed.

 The child’s task is to explore the materials provided and to apply their learning in practical ways.

At Montessori schools, the teaching staff is called guides rather than teachers. The student-teacher ratio is generally quite low, with one adult for every six children. It allows the guide to spend more time with each individual student.

Montessori schools are usually coeducational rather than single-sex. The focus of this form of learning is on hands-on exploration and discovery rather than memorizing facts and figures.

Compare the costs of Montessori and daycare to determine which is a better fit for you. This will help you make the choice that is right for your child.

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