How old is your child?
From working at a large day care center for several years, this is what I would ask:
-Ask to see a current menu for breakfast, lunch, and snacks.
-Ask if children wash their hands before eating.
-Ask about drinks between meals and snacks. Can your child drink from the water fountain anytime they are thirsty? (Or a bottle, juice cup, etc.)
-Look in the room your child will stay in. Make sure the room has a sink in it with soap and paper towels for employees to wash their hands.
-If age appropriate, be sure the room has a diaper changing station.
If the room doesn't have a sink or diaper changing area in it, then a staff member will have to leave the room to do those things which means
1) there will be less supervision, a lot can happen in 5 minutes and
2) they will not change diapers or wash hands as often. The place I worked in had a sink in a bathroom attached to the room, but even then bad things would happen when the teacher was out of the room!
-Find out how often the children play outside and for how long, and if they have any other areas they go to in the building regularly. (Gym, cafeteria, movie room, etc.)
-Ask about cold or rainy weather--do they still go out in the winter?
-Check the playground and note if the children have to cross a road or big parking lot, see if the playground is fully fenced and safe looking.
-Find out how they handle conflicts. If your child is a toddler ask about hitting/pushing and biting.
-Ask how often biting is an issue in your child's class. If there is a lot of biting that could be a sign that the children are too crowded or stressed or bored.
-Find out the teacher/child ratio. See if you can pop in at a random time to observe the class (either before your child is there or when they are already enrolled) and count the number of children. Each state has different regulations. My state (KY) says 4 children under 1 per care giver, but the ratio for 2 year olds is 10 per care giver. 10 two year olds is WAY too many for one person, trust me. The teacher/child ratio is very, very important for the happiness and well-being of your child. Obviously the lower the better!
-Ask what age group your child will be with. Is it just one age per class? Do they play with older kids on the playground or in the gym?
Sorry that was kind of long. Hopefully it will give you some things to think about when you make your list of questions!