Preschool usually operates as a half day program, two to five days a week, for children three to five years old.
What is the difference between preschool and child care in Alaska?
This is a tricky question. You can find preschool curriculum in preschools, child care and Head Start programs.
Preschools typically operate just a few hours per day, and serve children ages three through five.
- The Department of Education & Early Development certifies preschools in Alaska. Their definition is: a school for children ages three through five when the primary function of the school is educational.
- If a preschool is state-certified, it will have a state-issued certificate.
Licensed child care programs often provide preschool education, and may also be preschool -certified.
- Child care can serve children from six weeks to 12 years of age. Child care is typically open longer hours, to meet the needs of working parents.
- Child care facilities, be they in a home or center, are closely regulated for the health & safety of children. The Department of Health & Social Services, Child Care Programs Office regulates child care. The office in Fairbanks is located at 542 4th Avenue, Suite 212. Phone 907-451-3198.
Head Start programs offer preschool education, as well as many other services for children and families.
- Head Start programs can also be licensed child care providers, with extended hours for working parents. Head Start is closely regulated by the federal government for health, safety and program performance.