BMJ, sorry to hear of your experience.
Our own has been vastly different. Our LDC has integrated 3 and 4 year old programs which surpass that of almost all the other local kindergartens. They have a kinder teacher on site from 7:30-6, and have a huge variety of structured and unstructured activities through the day.
Like everything, I do think you can't make any generalizations, as each service is unique. And like all things we do as parents, I think you have to assess the downsides and benefits for you as a family. Availability vs quality of program vs need for flexible hours, all in the context of what is available.
We are enormously lucky that one centre meets both our needs for childcare and kinder in quite a fabulous way.