best childcare setting for 2yo spirited boy?

I'd like to hear from other parents of spirited kids and what they did for childcare/preschool in and around Oakland.  Details below...

Hi BPN, we're realizing that the nanny share that our 22month old son has been in for the last year is not going to continue to work for him (1 nanny, 2 toddlers and an infant).  Our nanny feels like she can't keep him safe because he doesn't listen and runs off. He also pulls hair and bites frequently. He's been with her and the other kids since 8 months and LOVES them. He's also a very spirited kid--while I'm not concerned about the running off/not listening, we are concerned about the hair pulling/biting, which seems to be sensory-seeking, compulsive-like thing--not necessarily the typical toddler gets angry and bites thing (although he does that too). 

We are trying to figure out what to do next. The options are to hire someone to help our nanny, get a different one on one nanny, or try to find a daycare or preschool environment where he'll be more contained and maybe with a teacher who understands him better. Does anyone else have a kid like this and can share their advice on the type of environment where their kid thrived?

He LOVES other kids, adults, very social, very verbal and loves activity and running around, easy to transition, not a tantrummer, basically just always happy with whatever we do and enthusiastic about life. However, we've noticed he's much calmer and more focused in very slow-moving, quiet environments, like at the beach or when we visit my in-laws (who are old hippies). With more activity/excitement, he has trouble regulating and gets very hyper. I would like him to be in daycare/school because I think he would love it, but worried about the chaos and wondering if it would make these behaviors worse.

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Hello, my grandson is the same...  seems like he's so sensitive and now that he's in kindergarten, he's gone bonkers and gets kicked out almost every day..  Aquatic Pre-school is an excellent school...  probably full, but you could try.  they are wonderful.   I'm also starting to give my grandson, Jin Shin Jyutsu treatments twice per week.  I started last night.  I think I want to start a blog or you tube thing to share the journey and see if this can help my grandson settle in an environment with lots of stimulus.   Good Luck to you.  Oh, and also, your son may have allergies....  so try getting him off of dairy, wheat, soy, etc for a few weeks and see if that helps...


My son was the same way. We kept him in a small nanny share (just 2 kids) until he was 2 yrs 9 months, where he had lots of park time every morning, then put him in a tiny preschool in a home setting with a good backyard. That way he got love and attention, wasn't surrounded by too many kids on any given day (I think it was 2 teachers to 10-12 kids, something like that), and also had good space to run around. It was Montessori. He thrived there but then after a few years it felt too small and our situation had changed anyway, so we put him in a much larger Montessori school (25 kids in his classroom). He is doing really well. I think all of those places/situations were the right way to go. I looked at so many preschools but I couldn't imagine putting him in a large setting for 8+ hours a day until it was clear he had outgrown his tiny school.

It took me a long time to realize what you seem to know already - that your child's energy feeds off of what's going on around him. We cannot take my son to exciting stuff late in the day without major meltdowns (like weddings or parties), because he has SO MUCH FUN and can't calm himself down very well, so we avoid it. There are also a couple people who like to play "rough" (very physically) with him that tend to get him amped up, so we have tried to calm those situations down too. Look at a lot of schools and talk to the teachers about your child. There will definitely be those that "get it", but even with great teachers, the vibe and environment are so important. And the other kids too -- my son gravitates towards the other rambunctious kids so even in a quiet setting, they can get pretty crazy.

Also, you can do him a great service by starting to talk to him about the way his body feels when he's excited, hyper, calm, etc and teaching him tools for self-regulation (deep breaths, sitting down, taking a moment to rest, etc.). Good luck with your active kiddo!