I was two years old when my mother walked out on me, my older brother and my dad. She said she "wasn't ready to be home with children." She moved several states away and my dad raised us in an era when that was not the normal thing to do. Aunts and grandmas came to help when possible, but they couldn't offer the full-time help dad needed to be able to work and provide for my brother and me. So, he dropped us off at daycare during the week.
I hated getting up early to drive there, where strangers fed me breakfast. I felt like an inmate. I hated the ride to school from daycare, because they drove us in special vehicles that just screamed "these are daycare kids!" I also had to leave ten minutes before the rest of the class so I could go BACK to daycare, where we spent our afternoons waiting for our parents to arrive. We looked like we were having fun as we played kickball, but we were just waiting for someone to pick us up.
I begged my dad every day to please not make me go back there. He would tear up, but that's where I found myself the next morning. They weren't abusive or mean - they were just people who were paid to watch me. I actually was jealous of "latchkey" kids, because at least they got to go home, even if they were alone there. And 26 years ago, when I got married, my husband agreed that I would stay home with any kids we had. We had them and I did stay home. And neither my husband nor I have regretted that decision for one minute.