Primrose vs KinderCare Centers – Do Differences Matter!?

illustration for kids

When comparing the different preschools for your child’s early childhood education in your local area, you’ll find that there are some differences you need to consider. When looking at Primrose vs KinderCare centers, the differences could matter when making the right decision for your little one’s first year of preschool. 

Primrose operates as a franchise while KinderCare centers run as a company. Both schools incorporate a balanced approach, with child-led learning and teacher guidance. Each school has its own proprietary curriculum aligned with up-to-date early childhood educational developments.   

Let’s talk about these two different preschools and discover what makes one different from the other. This way, you can be well-informed when picking a preschool for your child. 

What is Primrose School? 

Primrose schools operate under a franchise model and first opened in 1982. They cater to children from infancy to five years old. Their curriculum incorporates current early childhood development educational strategies while focusing on mind, body, and heart learning

The proprietary curriculum, known as Balanced Learning, acknowledges every child is unique and learns differently. The school’s motto is “Active Minds, Healthy Bodies, and Happy Hearts” which encompasses the mission and vision of the school’s ethos. 

The school encourages child-led learning with teachers guiding them through the learning process at all times. By nurturing the child’s natural curiosity, confidence, compassion, and creativity, the school’s system allow your child to discover the joy of learning. Primrose students also develop vital life skills from a young age. 

Check out this video which takes you on a tour of a typical Primrose infant classroom.

What is KinderCare School? 

KinderCare Learning Companies Inc. currently manages all KinderCare educational centers throughout the United States. KinderCare has a long history being first established in 1969. It’s undergone numerous structural changes before becoming what it is today, under the leadership of Tom Wyatt.

KinderCare’s proprietary curriculum, Early Foundations, focuses on the whole-child approach. It integrates child-centered learning with teacher-led support. The school strives to provide each child with a balanced education while nurturing them physically, socially, and mentally

The school programs accommodate children from six weeks to six years old and are designed to be fun, engaging, and educational all at the same time. The school also offers distance learning programs for older children up to 12 years old. 

Take a tour of a KinderCare learning center and discover what it has to offer your little one!

The Difference Between Primrose and KinderCare 

Kindercare and Primrose have many aspects that make them different in their approach to early education. Here are some differences between the two schools. 


Both schools are expensive compared to most other preschools. However, KinderCare does offer subsidies for military and federal families. Their tuition fees are also dependent on the location of the learning center, how many days your child attends the school, and your child’s age. 

The cost of fees is not easily found on Primrose and KinderCare websites. However, other research indicates KinderCare tuition fees average between $200 to $400 per week. Primrose rates are also determined by location and age of your child but estimates vary from $250 to $350 per week. 


Primrose’s Balanced Learning curriculum is introduced from the infant program. It’s based on research and reviewed by a team of experts in the early education field. It combines philosophies such as Montesorri and Piaget with modern childhood development theories such as STEAM education.  

The Primrose curriculum includes:

  • Language and literacy.
  • Social studies.
  • Science and engineering.
  • Creative arts.
  • Math.
  • Social and emotional development.
  • Physical development.

KinderCare’s Early Foundations curriculum focuses on the whole-child approach while offering a balanced early education. The curriculum is designed by a team of experienced experts in the field of early childhood development. 

The Kindercare curriculum focuses on six key developmental domains as follows:

  • Language and literacy.
  • Cognitive learning in math, science, and study of the world around us.
  • Physical, motor, and wellness development.
  • Social and emotional development.
  • Executive function to build memory and problem-solving skills.
  • Creative expression through art and music.

Extra Activities 

Both schools offer a wide range of activities to enhance your child’s early learning experience as they enter preschool. The activities vary depending on the age group. Here are some examples of the activities included.


  • Infant: Discovery baskets to help babies use their different senses. Group activities include storytelling, singing, and interaction with teachers and friends. Outdoor playtime is incorporated for 30 minutes every day.
  • Toddler: Group time includes talking about the day, read-aloud, and working together as a community. Outdoor playtime is also encouraged for developing physical skills.
  • Preschool: Play and pretend is encouraged as well as doing science experiments, dancing and hopping, and learning about nutritious foods. 
  • Kindergarten: Fun activities help build your child’s science and math skills as well as learning to work together as a team. STEM skills are developed through fun but educational experiments.
  • Additional activities: The Learning Adventures program offers enrichment courses while children can also participate in the Bilingual Mandarin Immersion Program to learn foreign languages. 


  • Infant: Activities encourage babies to explore their senses through touch, smell, taste, listen, and grab. Classrooms incorporate cause and effect toys to develop your child’s different senses. 
  • Toddler: Motor skills are developed through activities that encourage climbing, crawling, and hiding. Extra activities could include singing, dancing, and listening during storytelling.
  • Preschool and kindergarten: Activities include taking photos, movement and balance games, digital age-appropriate technology games, and learning to take measurements. Outdoor play is encouraged for all stages of learning. 
  • Additional activities: Children may also participate in the after school program as well as the summer adventure camp.

Safety and Security 

Stringent COVID health and safety policies are implemented and followed in both Primrose and KinderCare schools. All KinderCare teachers and staff undergo extensive health and safety training. They also follow all CDC protocols and guidelines. 

All Primrose schools uphold the health and safety of your child. Toys, crib sheets, and all surfaces are frequently sanitized. Teachers and staff participate in up-to-date health and safety training. A Safe School Plan is placed in each classroom. All Primrose schools adhere to the current local state regulations as well as CDC guidelines. 

Number of School Locations

Primrose has 465 schools in 33 states throughout the United States. They accommodate over 60,000 students. KinderCare has over 1,500 centers in 40 states throughout the U.S.

Are Primrose and KinderCare Accredited? 

All Primrose schools fall under a national system of accredited private preschools. KinderCare is nationally accredited by three early childhood accreditation agencies

Pros and Cons of Primrose vs KinderCare


  • Both schools use a balanced approach to early education, focusing on child-led learning and teacher guidance.
  • KinderCare has more schools in more locations. 
  • KinderCare offers subsidized fees for military and federal families.
  • Primrose fees are marginally cheaper compared to KinderCare learning centers.


  • Being a franchise school, quality can’t be guaranteed in every Primrose preschool.
  • Both schools are more expensive compared to most other major preschools. 
  • Primrose schools only accommodate learners up to five years old. 


Picking a winner isn’t easy between Primrose and KinderCare. It really comes down to personal preference, location, and how much you’re willing to pay for your child’s preschool education. However, if you want to teach your child how to become an engineer, Primrose’s inclusion of STEAM education could be the deal-breaker!

And if you really one to consider Primrose, you might want to compare it with Goddard.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *