Re: I just took my 11-month-old daughter to a new daycare (she'd been at the same one since four months, but I wasn't feeling good about them anymore), and it's not going well. She's crying and crying, and refusing to go down for her nap. How long should it take her to settle in? I know it's normal, but it breaks my heart.
Changing daycare is a big transition for children, and every child will react differently. To help her out, try to verbalize what she is feeling. Tell her she's in a new place, and it will take some time to get used to it. Also, highlight some special, comforting items at the daycare upon which she can focus her attention. I'd also bring a transitional object like a stuffed animal or blanket so she can feel some sense of home while she's at daycare.
Also, talk with her old daycare. Ask them what she seemed to like and dislike, and then offer these suggestions to her new daycare. Your old daycare might also have information regarding how she preferred to nap and how long it took for her to get comfortable.
Finally, sit down and make a formalized plan with her new caregivers. Help them understand your daughter by explaining what she likes, what she doesn't like, the best way to soothe her, and so on. Then, ask about how they've handled transitions with other children, and for any more information about how your own daughter has responded to various soothing techniques. With time and the appropriate level of care and preparation, your daughter will get used to this new space.