Be prepared to do your homework before you chose a day care facility. Talk to other parents to find out where they send their children. Most neighborhoods have a few options that are well known. Also, research the teacher-to-child ratio before choosing a good day care. If there are too many children and not enough caregivers, supervision can suffer and lead to problems.
Once you chose a facility, talk to parents and teachers there, tour the campus and sit in on a class. A trustworthy day care has an open-door policy. This proves that they have nothing to hide, and allows you to see how caregivers interact with children. A reliable day care eagerly answers all of your questions.
Check the list of activities and the timing. A good day care center is very well organized. Also, ask about the plan for emergencies, and what illnesses can keep your child at home. Inspect toys and facilities to see that they are clean and well maintained, and ask about the level of parental involvement. Many day cares encourage parents to participate, with some actually requiring it.
Finally, ask about pickup and drop off policies. A rigid drop off policy is common, meaning children have to be there at a certain time in order to participate. Many facilities also charge for late pickup, which can be rough on parents who work late hours.