Crying at Day-Care Drop-Off
Children are born with different degrees of sociability, emotionality and motor activity. When a child's sociability is high, emotionality is largely positive and motor activity is neither over- nor under-accelerated, she likely has an "easy" temperament. Alternatively, when sociability is low, emotionality is largely negative or irritable and activity level is accelerated, children are categorized as having a "difficult" temperament. It may just be that your child fits into the "difficult" temperament category. Her temperament style would explain her difficulties both adjusting to the day-care setting and soothing herself into a less emotionally reactive state.
Given her temperament, your daughter's behaviors are considered normal. While it is understandable that you might feel responsible for her distress, it is very important that you do not allow feelings of guilt to guide your interactions with her. Rather, let consistency and sensitivity be your guides.
The best thing you can do is to follow the same routine each morning and speak to your daughter with a neutral/positive tone in your voice. Talk to her during the drive to her day care about the specific things you will do that day. For example, "We are driving to your school and we are going to get out of the car and walk together to the class. Then I am going to help you take your coat off and give you a big hug and a kiss. Then I will pick you up after lunch (or one of the last activities of the day) and we will get into our car and drive home."
While your child may continue to show signs of distress, you can be confident that you are responding appropriately and with empathy and sensitivity. Additionally, if your toddler has a special toy or other object that she favors and uses as kind of "security blanket," allow her to take it to day care as it may serve as a substitute source of security in your absence.