When people in the Alpharetta area are looking for religious upbringing for their children at an early childhood education center, they’re most likely using one of two phrases when typing into a search engine: church daycare near me or Christian daycare near me. Some people will use these interchangeably, which is understandable. In fact, we’re interested in having people come check us out no matter which search terms they’re using!
But if you have a choice between church preschools/daycare or one that labels itself as a Christian preschool/daycare, which should you choose? After all, it’s not like a church preschool isn’t Christian, and that a Christian preschool won’t teach kids many of the same things a child might learn in church. But there are a few considerations to take when you are choosing between them for your child’s early childhood education program. Let’s take a look at some of the cons of a church daycare.
In Church Daycare, The Rooms Are Multi-Use
If you choose a church daycare, it’s important to remember that the rooms in which your children are playing and learning aren’t just daycare rooms. In nearly every case, the same rooms that are used as daycare and preschool rooms throughout the week are also used as Sunday school rooms on the weekend and midweek rooms on Wednesday nights.
What’s the big deal about this? Well, the people who are teaching Sunday school might not have the same standards as those who are running the preschool program. Sunday school teachers might have a background check, but few of them have much training. Did they bring a snack of peanuts into a peanut-free zone? A preschool child with an allergy might have a serious reaction on Monday. Or did they fail to clean up after a Sunday school child with the flu grabbed every door handle in the building?
In general, keeping a preschool in a separate building just makes more sense. Standards are simply higher when the preschool is only used for one purpose. And it’s not just the facility that we’re talking about, because you should also ask…
How Many Strangers Are Around?
This might be the most concerning aspect to watch out for when picking Christian childcare. In a church, there are lots of people constantly coming and going. There are the people that you don’t mind being around, such as trusted and background-checked daycare workers. And it’s very likely that the church leaders have also had thorough background checks.
But a lot of other stuff goes on in a church as well. There are church members who are there to make use of the gym or talk to the reverend/pastor/etc. There are people who are in the building for support groups, or those who just come in looking for help. That’s what a church is there for, anyway. But you also don’t want a lot of people hanging around in the same space a preschool operates.
As we mentioned above, our Alpharetta preschool is a stand-alone facility, and the building’s only use is as a preschool. There are multiple lock points to make sure that the only people who enter the building are those who should be there. (Take a look at the safety precautions we take right here.)
Of course, having people around means that…
Traffic Is Greater
Let’s talk about the traffic. When you take a look at church daycare centers, there’s a lot more traffic for one simple reason: there are more people coming and going. Pastors are constantly heading all over town to visit people, and church members are going in and out for choir rehearsals and small groups.
While kids are obviously kept out of traffic during the day, there are two times of day when you want as few cars moving as possible — drop-off and pick-up. When you choose a Christian preschool that’s not affiliated with a church, there aren’t any extraneous cars moving around the parking lot.
They Might Be Too Focused On Their Denomination
How do many people choose a church preschool? It’s often the one affiliated with the church that they attend on Sunday morning, and as long as the church is near them, it’s hard for us to convince them to come over to ours! Familiarity goes a long way to helping someone to decide.
But some people choose a stand-alone Christian preschool over a church preschool for another reason: They want their kids to have a religious upbringing during the day, but not one that’s associated with a particular church. The Catholic preschool might be closer, but a Methodist parent might not agree with everything the Catholic church might bring up in preschool. An Episcopalian parent might live next to a Southern Baptist church but not want to send them to that church’s preschool. Heck, ELCA and Wisconsin synods of the Lutheran church have a hard time getting along, and they’re both Lutheran!
When you decide on a Christian preschool that’s not affiliated with a particular denomination, it solves a lot of problems. There’s no fear of a child being indoctrinated into any particular denomination, one that might profess something different than they’ll learn from parents or hear on Sunday morning. Yes, the child will get a Christian education at a Christian preschool such as Children’s Ark Academy, but it’s at the proper level for their age while being interdenominational.
They Might Not Teach Enough
Sometimes a church preschool tends to just rely on the familiarity of their church members to fill their daycare during the week. They know that their members will bring their child in no matter what, simply because their children know the rooms from Sunday morning and the church usually isn’t that far away.
Unfortunately, some churches know that they already have that built-in client base and don’t do enough to improve their early childhood education program. They might not keep up with the latest teaching trends, or they may simply consider everything “daycare” when kids of a certain age need “preschool.” After all, why get better if people will just keep bringing their children anyway?
When you think of a Christian preschool, there’s nothing that brings people into Children’s Ark Academy except our quality (okay, our location helps too!). But because we don’t have a built-in client base, we have to work hard to build our reputation. We have to provide kids with the preschool program they need to do their best when they reach kindergarten. At Children’s Ark Academy, we’ll work hard for your child!
Schedule a Tour of our Christian Preschool Center Today!
Don’t get the wrong idea: We’re glad that there are church preschools and daycare centers. A child should feel comfortable wherever they are, and if you require very specific religious teachings and aren’t as interested in an interdenominational approach, it’s hard to argue with that.
But if you’re looking for a Christian preschool that focuses on both Christian teachings and education to help a child do well in school, Children’s Ark Academy might be for you. We have a safe, friendly, and fun place for your child to spend their days, so contact us today to schedule a tour of our Christian daycare center!