Preschool vs. Pre-Kindergarten


Is there really a difference between Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten? My child is attending an early childhood center before they enter kindergarten; does it really matter which one we call it?

The words Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten may seem to be interchangeable because they are both considered “schooling before kindergarten”. As true as that sounds, these two classrooms and learning environments couldn’t be more different.

Here are a few differences to know as you research for your child’s needs:

Age Range

For most early childhood programs, a Preschool classroom is for children who are 3-4 years old and experiencing their first classroom setting.

Alternatively, a Pre-Kindergarten classroom is for children who are 4-5 years old and will be attending Kindergarten the following school year. Pre-Kindergarten is also known as a “kindergarten prep” class.


Okay, so their age will determine which classroom they are in, but is the curriculum and what they are learning really all that different?

YES! A Preschool classroom environment is set up with a simple and flexible schedule that offers many opportunities for unstructured playtime. At this age, many of the children in this classroom have never been in a classroom environment, been away from home, and/or been surrounded by many other children their age.

Preschool is the perfect opportunity for children to interact and learn social skills with other 3-4-year-olds as they begin their academic journey together. Foundational skills will be built in math, reading, and phonics, and they’ll gain independence while transitioning from a little kid to a big kid!

A Pre-Kindergarten classroom environment is set up to be aligned with requirements the school districts request a child achieves before entering Kindergarten. It provides a more complex, structured schedule that still includes play time but prepares a child for what they might encounter when attending Kindergarten. They can continue building on the foundational skills they began working on in Preschool.

Benefits of Preschool vs. Pre-Kindergarten

Will enrolling my child in a Preschool and/or Pre-Kindergarten program really benefit them before entering Kindergarten?

As Pre-Kindergarten teachers ourselves, we highly recommend that children get enrolled in a Preschool and/or Pre-Kindergarten classroom before entering Kindergarten.

We have had numerous parents of former students come back to let us know that their children were very prepared for Kindergarten because of what they learned in our Early Childhood Centers. The sooner your child can experience a classroom-like setting, the better!

Our Commitment to Early Childhood Excellence

At Kiddi Kollege, we value the quality of your child’s care and seek to enrich their minds through learning and playtime. Check out our Kindergarten Readiness Study to see how our students are making a big impact in early education!

If you’re interested in learning more about our early childhood learning centers, schedule a tour at one of our locations in the Kansas City metro area.

We look forward to meeting you and your family!

Sources: “8 Differences Between Preschool and PreK” a YouTube video uploaded by Patel Vidhu