Goddard vs Primrose School

father helping young child

There are many options for preschools and day care for young children. While many parents just choose whatever is more convenient in terms of location, if you are fortunate to live close enough to multiple preschools, you can consider the pros and cons of each and pick the right one for you.

But what options do you have? In addition to regular state schools and preschools, you may find you live close to a Montessori, Waldorf, Goddard or Primrose school which offer different approaches for educating young children. In this article let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of Goddard and Primrose schools.

What’s the difference between Goddard and Primrose schools?

To be honest, there aren’t many radical differences between the two schools. In fact, they probably have more in common. They both operate a franchise model, so the quality between schools can vary. Furthermore, they both offer a balanced curriculum which blends teacher input and child-led activities. If you’re after a difference between the schools, Goddard is slightly more flexible in its method of how children learn. Both schools offer preschool if you want your child to start from a young age.

If you want to compare Goddard or Primrose with a school that offers a fundamentally different approach, you might want to look at Montessori.

What is the Goddard School?

The Goddard School cater for over 70,000 students in the US, from infants to six year old children. They focus on allowing children to explore and learn in a play-based environment, while their team of expert teachers guide them in the right direction.

What’s different about it?

The Goddard School system uses a flexible learning program, which gives teachers the freedom to choose the direction which best suits the child in the classroom. Furthermore, they ensure the lesson is fun, enjoyable while offering a blend of physical, academic and mental activities. For the child, this creates an environment where they can be curious and explore new ideas and learn new skills.

Is Goddard School religious?

No, Goddard doesn’t have any link to any religion and doesn’t promote it during lessons.

What is the Primrose school?

Primrose schools specialise in early education and child care. The school was formed in 1982 and they offer a blend of teacher led activities and child initiated activities.

Is it the same as Montessori?

Montessori offers an exploratory approach to learning which focuses on child led activities. Primrose, on the other hand, offers a more balanced approach where the children are free to learn and explore, but there is more guidance from the teachers. Furthermore, in the Montessori classroom, children are in multi-age groupings, whereas at Primrose classrooms are age specific. Also, in Montessori, they usually focus on one subject in a lesson, but in Primrose a few different subjects can make up a lesson.

What’s the curriculum and philosophy?

The core values of Primrose Schools are integrity, fairness, social responsibility and enthusiasm. Their curriculum is focused on a “balanced learning” approach to education, which means a child only learns a new skill when they are truly ready. For infants and toddlers, there is a balance between developing social and emotional intelligence, physical development, science and engineering, problem solving skills (but less on the creative arts, language and literacy, and maths). However, for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, early pre-school and pre-school there is roughly an even balance between all the subjects.

How much does it cost?

Although Primrose Schools are a franchise, each school is independently owned. This means tuition costs can vary, and a lot depends o your location. On average, you can expect to pay weekly around $280-380 for infant care, $250-350 if you have a toddler and $150-350 for preschool.

How many Primrose Schools are there?

There are over 400 Primrose schools across 29 states in the US and the number is growing. As the school operates on a franchise model, this number is likely to rise in the future.

Is it a religious school?

No, Primrose schools don’t follow or teach a particular religion.

Do Primrose Schools have cameras?

You should find every Primrose School has secure access and there will be a security camera to ensure the safety of the staff and children.

Advantages and disadvantages of Primrose and Goddard School

As I mentioned at the start of the article, although there will be subtle differences in the curriculum and approach, both schools have more in common. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of both schools:


  • Balanced approach to education

Primrose Schools pride themselves on their “balanced learning” approach to learning. Children are exposed to the core subjects when they are ready, giving them the best chance to flourish and excel. Goddard schools offer a wide range of activities with a flexible learning approach for children.

  • Good quality teaching

In the main, parents are very happy with the development of their children at Primrose Schools, and that is often down to the high quality teaching. At Goddard Schools, pupils learn at their own pace which goes down well with parents as they feel their child is really valued by the institution.

  • Fun and enjoyable

As well as offering a balanced curriculum, children seem to really enjoy their time at Primrose School. They learn through play whilst learning core skills. You’ll find a similar situation at Goddard schools with their play-based approach to learning.


  • Quality of the school can vary

Both Goddard and Primrose operate using a franchise model with different owners, so the quality can vary between schools. In one school, you might read some negative reviews but that might be a reflection of the owner and how the school is run, rather than the method and curriculum that either school offers.

  • Expensive

If you want your child to attend a Primrose or Goddard School it will cost you. It’s more expensive for infants but the price drops a little for preschoolers.

  • Waiting list

If you have a Primrose School in area, you may have to join the queue to find a spot. Despite the fees, many parents want their child to go to one. You need to check the popularity of your local Primrose School by giving them a call. Goddard Schools are also in demand.

Is Primrose better than Goddard?

To be honest, you’ll be happy with either option, but unless you live in a city or large town, you may not have the luxury of choosing between them. There are slightly more Goddard schools in the US, compared to Primrose, but it’s not significant.  So if you want a curriculum that offers a wide range of activities for your child, that’s fun with good teaching, you’ll be fine with either option.

Which is more expensive?

Although many of the schools don’t publish their rates, you’ll find the prices almost the same. For Goddard school, you’ll pay between $1,450 and $1,650 a month at most locations. As you can see above, Primrose schools cost around $280-380 a week (which works out at about $1,500 a month). So there’s not much difference between either option.

goddard school vs primrose