You are the expert on your child. Think about what type of care environment will be best suited to her unique temperament:
• Does your child like to be with big or small groups of children?
• Does your child need a lot of active or quiet time?
• What noise levels can your child tolerate?
• Does your child like to be with other children her own age or mixed ages?
• Does your child need structure or enjoy lots of free time?
• If your child is highly active and always on the go, look for an environment that will enable her to safely engage in plenty of physical play.
• If your child has difficulty adjusting to changes, she may thrive in an environment that offers structure and predictability.
Keep in mind that you also want to support your child in adapting to environments that may seem at first like a stretch for her temperament—but the key word here is support. For instance, even a very shy child can thrive in a group if her primary caregiver is attuned to her needs and helps her connect with peers at her own pace.
• Talk to your child’s caregiver about how you can work together to make your child’s time in childcare the best it can be.
• You know your child best, so explain her temperament to the caregiver.
• Ask your child’s caregiver how your child is doing during the day.