Lurking mom here, but we're just starting to research now (on a tip from an equally frustrated friend) and would love to know where you found heaven! We're also in SoCal and the fun has just begun...
We live in Burbank, CA so our daycare is actually apart of the Burbank Unified School System. My wife is a teacher so this made her feel at ease. Each room has a certified instructor, everyone has to be CPR/AED certified and everyone has at least 16 hours of child development. AND it's a school so it's secure. If you are close by let me know. We were only able to find 3 daycares in Burbank that accept infants, most start at 18 months.