My daughter has cerebral palsy and is easily startled by loud noise. Is a home-based center a better option than a traditional child care center?  

The best environment for your daughter will depend on what is happening in that environment and how much the child care providers are able to support your daughter’s learning and care for her needs. If the home-based center tends to be a more calm, quiet environment and the child care provider is responsive when your daughter becomes easily startled, then that may work well. I would recommend spending time in any environment you are considering for care to observe and listen before you take your daughter. Talk to the child care provider about your daughter and see how open they are adjusting to the environment. That way, you can get a sense of whether or not it will be a good fit. However, it’s possible that your daughter may need time and support to adjust to the noises in either environment. Trying strategies such as easing her into care by starting for brief periods of time so she can get used to the noise level, allowing her to wear headphones, earmuffs, or a stocking cap to try to lessen the noise (if she’s comfortable with that), and cueing her before loud predictable noises like a vacuum or music might help. Talk to the child care providers in both programs to share what you do at home to help her manage noises and how you soothe her if she needs it after becoming startled. If they are willing to listen and work with you, then that’s a great place to start.