The second Sunday in May has long been recognized as the day to honor mothers and their commitment to children. The Friday before Mother’s Day, May 12, 2017, is Provider Appreciation Day, a special day to recognize child care providers, teachers, school-age program staff, child care center directors and staff, and all those who work with children and are responsible for their education and care. It is estimated that nearly 11 million children under age five are cared for by 2.8 million child care providers in the United States.
Locally, Stokes Partnership for Children is leading this effort.
“Every day, child care providers care for 2074 children under the age of 5 in Stokes County,” says Dianne Durham, Child Care Resource and Referral Coordinator of Stokes Partnership for Children. “The children and parents of Stokes County depend on our child care providers. May 12 is the day to recognize the hard work and dedication of these early educators and to acknowledge their contributions to quality care.”
Provider Appreciation Day was started in 1996 by a group of volunteers in New Jersey who saw the need to recognize the tireless efforts of providers who care for children of working parents. Momentum and support for this event has grown each year, and recognition presently includes individuals and government organizations throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
“By recognizing the dedication of child care providers on May 12, we remind our communities of the importance of quality early childhood programs and let providers everywhere know that we recognize and value their important work,” said Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., Executive Director of Child Care Aware® of America, the host organization of Provider Appreciation Day. “Ninety percent of brain development occurs during the first five years of life. Providing quality care for our children – especially during this critical time – will help ensure their future success.”
“It takes a special person to work in the child care field and these individuals often go unrecognized,” says Durham. “This day offers an opportunity for parents to show their child care providers their appreciation.” Your recognition and appreciation can take many forms, but a few suggestions include:
Saying thank you with a note or card, work with your child to create the card or special homemade gift, buy a personal gift related to the providers interests or hobbies, organize a breakfast or luncheon, write an editorial to your local newspaper to recognize a special provider, donate toys, equipment or classroom supplies to the program.
Being a child care provider is not always an easy job, but it is certainly one of the most important and too often goes uncelebrated. Please join us in celebrating all providers in all child care situations on May 12, 2017 and let them know how important they are and how much we appreciate their caring dedication to the young children and families in Stokes County.
To learn more about Provider Appreciation Day or for ideas on how you can thank your child care provider, contact Stokes Partnership for Children at 336-985-2676 or 1-800-559-5606. For additional information about Provider Appreciation Day, visit www.providerappreciation.org.