What is the difference between pre-school and daycare?
This is a tough question to answer because so many people have their own definition of what each is. Traditionally though, day care has been predominately either for younger children (birth to 3) and/or non-academic, while pre-school is for older children (3-4 years old) and academically based, or at least teaching "school skills" (walking in a line, taking turns, naming colors,...)
The line is gets blurry though. We know that talking to a baby produces academic skills, as well as play on the play ground, so day cares where the teachers talk and interact" are very popular, as well as play based pre-schools" where academics are taught solely through.
There are also "developmental pre-schools" that teach no academics at all because they believe that early childhood is a time of innocence and fun. They believe that is is "developmentally inappropriate" for young children to do any academic work, play based or not.
So what do you want? First I would look into the programs available in your area. Talk to directors and teachers. See where you feel comfortable. Bring your child and see where they feel comfortable. Find out what each school has to offer, and what their philosophy is. Then make your decision as which school has a philosophy that matches as closely as possible to what you want for your child and where you feel the most comfortable.
Here though is a link to series of videos on the subject.
The difference between pre-school and daycare