I have a theory that introvert/extrovert has a big impact on a child's reaction to daycare. I'm a strong introvert and I hated every daycare I attended.
Interesting! I hadn't thought about this, but it definitely explains my very strong reaction to the daycare I remember hating as a child. There wasn't any chance for alone time - even the bathrooms were shared (no stalls, multiple tiny toilets). Other daycares I attended and enjoyed definitely provided more opportunities for alone time.
Yeah, looking back on it there wasn't anything wrong in the slightest with any of the daycares I attended. If asked what was wrong with any of them I would have named one kid at each, because there always seemed to be one rotten kid. But, otherwise, everything was fine. The only one I really liked was a home daycare and not real daycare. She had a son my age and we instantly became best buds. So, it was like an all-day playdate. In fact, she gave my parents back enough money from one month's worth of care that they bought a nice tricycle with it. But, since it was just the two of us, it wouldn't have been any problem for me to say, "I need to just sit in this chair for a bit".
I totally thrived as a Latchkey kid. Introvert heaven. I think I'd be a lot worse person today if I hadn't of been a latchkey kid.
Your mentioning shared bathrooms reminded me of the funniest thing I've ever seen in my life. I was maybe 4 years old. The kids in my group were potty-trained but it was still new and interesting to us. There was a big alcove with two toilets in it. The one on the left was for boys and the one on the right was for girls. I was in there with a boy, when he said, "Look what I can do". Then he peed on the ceiling! It was so funny I howled with laughter! Then the adults came and they didn't think it was so funny. I think the alcove was under some stairs so the ceiling wasn't the normal height, but it still seemed pretty darn high.