I had my 15 month old signed up for a daycare in the area, and backed out at the last minute. I just got a really bad vibe about the whole thing. I have no idea why, as the place was really nice, the teachers seemed intellegent and kind, and the program seemed really good. But I just had this aweful feeling in the pit of my stomache about leaving her there.
We decided to go with a sitter that lives about 2 minutes from me. I felt much better about that decision. She has one other little girl that she watches (a 17 month old), and is the mother of 6 year old twins, so I know she can handle two toddlers at once.
We pay her $120 a week, but that revolves around my husband's school schedule, so it's not a full week of sitting. She provides all of the food, and happily uses our cloth diapers (something the daycare refused to do).
My daughter is super shy, and has major stranger anxiety. Maybe that's why I felt aweful about leaving her in a place with 30 other kids. This way, she's kind of weaned into the situation, and we can put her into a daycare in the future if we want. She's gotten much less shy since she's been there. She's even let a few family members she rarely sees hold her...something that's been forbidden in the past because she panicks and freaks out. The other little girl there is very outgoing, and asks total strangers to pick her up when they're out for walks, so that must be where she's getting it from.
Anyway, I've gone off on a tangent here.
We have my daughter on a waiting list for the daycare that's on campus where I work, and as soon as she gets in there (18 months old min.) we'll be switching over. Don't know if I've been much help. :P