Chiming in a little late, but IME daycares start having valentines sharing at the 1 yr stage. And it does run the gamut from simple paper hearts to photo cards (fortunately not common!) and with or without candy or trinkets.
Also I had to share a nifty solution to the Valentines problem. One of the kids in DD's class gave out these: a construction paper heart with a glow stick bracelet threaded through slits in the paper, and the words "you make my heart glow". Around here, you can get a tube of 15 glow stick bracelets for $1, so for $2 and change he could make the requested 20 for his classmates. totally stealing this next year!
My own score was finding a DIY set of foam cards + stickers with some less common designs (robots, dogs, and owls), so DD could make them herself. In the past I also found valentine's that were printed on "seed paper" which could be put in water and would grow little plants, like chia or something. And temporary tattoos always seem to be a big hit as another non-candy option.