deciding what kind of environment you want for your son at which ages. Also, you may find that some factors/choices differ depending on the area of the country you live in. For example, I've never heard of a grace week, although admittedly, we knew from the get-go which daycare provider & which preschool we would be using & didn't shop around.
We opted for a small in-home daycare for our boys & then preschool, for which they have to be potty trained & at least 2 yrs. 9 months. (So ds #2 is still in the day care.) It was really important to me that they be in a small, informal setting kind of like grandma's house until a little older.
There is no right answer here & many people want to (or have to) start their kids off in a true structured learning environment early. There are some drawbacks to our daycare, the big one being that she's older & she doesn't take them outside every day. We decided we can live with that, though, b/c of everything else & we do outdoor things with them ourselves. We've also know many, many people who used her, so we feel the boys are/were safe with her & her adult daughter. By the time we got ds #1 potty trained at 3 yrs. almost 2 months & into preschool, he was very ready, but he wasn't ready before 3, which is when friends of ours with a dd the same age moved from the same daycare to the preschool.
There is another place near us that is pretty well known locally. Medium size & in-home run by a former teacher. We loved it but not for a baby. It was mostly toddlers & up & I felt strongly an infant would get lost in the shuffle. Yet acquaintances of ours started their son there as an infant. He's now almost 3 & they love the place.
So that's what I mean by determining what you feel you want for your baby now vs., say, 3. There's not one right answer, but obviously no matter what, you want your child to be safe & cared for.
Do you need full-time daycare? The preschool ds #1 is at offers before & after care, in addition to their preschool program. I read GIMB's post with interest. Obviously the situation depends on the staffing & management, but the preschool teachers in ds' school are not there the whole time. The hours are 7:00 to 5:30, so aides are there in the morning & in the afternoon, with teachers being there approximately 8:00-8:30 to 3:00. We have been very happy & really like everyone, so having aides vs. teachers has not been an issue for us. I, too, would be unhappy if the aides were not engaged, though, as GIMB posted.
If you at all can put your feelers out for word of mouth, that's great. I know it's hard b/c you're new to the area, but getting feedback from other moms & evaluating that against the backdrop of the feel you get from the parents can be helpful.
So just check around. Trust your gut. You may not get everything you want & you may not have all the choices we've all posted about, depending on your area of the country, but above all, you want your son to be safe & loved.
Congrats on your move!