Early Learning Advice

Learn & Play. Sessional Kindergarten versus Long Day Care 

Preparing for school transition – what’s the best decision for your child?

The Differences In Between Sessional Kindergarten and Long Day Care 

In Australia, parents can choose between two common types of early childhood education and care in preparation for school transition: Sessional Kindergarten and Long Day Care. And as always, when it comes to decisions we make for our children, there is plenty of discussions which are at times quite passionately held, about the pros and cons of one and the other.  
Today we want to give some guidance on this topic because it is sometimes a little difficult to gather all the information yourself. 

What Sessional Kindergarten and Long Day Care have in common 

It is essential to know that the curriculum in accredited Long Day Care and Sessional Kindergarten is essentially the same. In both variants, the curriculum is run by bachelor-qualified early childhood teachers.  

Both settings aim to provide a high-quality educational program that caters to the developmental needs of young children, with a focus on literacy, numeracy, social skills, and other vital areas.  

Sessional Kindergarten, also known as Preschool, typically operates for a few hours a day, a few days a week during school terms. Children attend for one or two years (depending on your state) before starting formal schooling. This type of education and care is often run by community organisations, local councils, or schools and is generally subsidised by the government based on your family’s activity.  

On the other hand, Long Day Care centres offer full-day education and care services for children from birth to school age. So children who were already here before Kindergarten could stay in their familiar environment. And children who are joining in new are given more time to familiarise themselves with the new environment, the routines and the other children.  

Children who attend Long Day Care have more time to explore and practice the newly learnt skills as they participate for longer periods throughout the week. This extended time allows for a more gradual and natural learning progression, enabling children to deepen their understanding and master the curriculum over time. 

More families choose Long Day Care.
Here is why:  

Longer Hours of Care: Long Day Care Centres offer extended hours of care. This can be a significant advantage for parents who work full-time or have other commitments that require them to be away from home for extended periods. Providing a full day of care includes here at Journey for the Future Foodies, our holistic Food Program. This means that instead of preparing lunch boxes, parents can be sure that their child is well looked after with a balanced and delicious meal plan, freshly cooked on-site every day. In addition, depending on the centre, various additional offers ranging from sports sessions to community experiences, gardening e.g. 

Consistency and Routine: Long Day Care Centres operate year-round, providing consistency and routine for children. Unlike Sessional Kindergarten, the school holidays are not an exception here. This can be especially beneficial for children who thrive on structure and routine. Long Day Care Centres also provide a predictable and stable environment that can help children develop a sense of security and comfort. 

Early Learning Opportunities: Long Day Care Centers like we at Journey offer young children a range of early learning opportunities. Children engage in play-based learning activities that help them develop essential skills, such as communication, problem-solving, and socialisation.  

Important to know – The Journey Kinder+ Program is approved by the Victorian Government and the Queensland Government. That means:  

  • Qualified teachers lead the program. 
  • Children will benefit from play-based learning
  • The program complies with government guidelines and the National Quality Framework. 
  • Funding for the same hours is offered in sessional Kindergarten in Long Day Care.  

In detail, the procedure differs depending on the state. Therefore, here are the links to further information on this topic. For Queensland / for Victoria.

What is the right choice now for your child? 

In summary, both options prepare children for the transition to school. However, only in Long Day Care do the children have more time. When it comes to the support of parents in balancing work and family responsibilities while also giving children the best possible start in life, Long Day Care is clearly a step ahead. 

Do you want to know more about the Journey Kinder+ Program? Contact us today!
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