Join the Maryland State Department of Education’s (MSDE) Division of Early Childhood, Child Care Aware® of America, and other organizations dedicated to quality early childhood initiatives to celebrate early care and education providers on Friday, May 10, for Provider Appreciation Day.
In 1996, a group of volunteers in New Jersey organized the first Provider Appreciation Day to recognize early care and education providers’ dedication and commitment to children and families. This special day is now celebrated nationwide by parents and families as well as state and local organizations. The MSDE’s Division of Early Childhood, with Child Care Aware®encourages parents and families to show appreciation year-round to the professionals who nurture, teach and care for their children. Research shows that the most critical time for brain development is the first five years of a child’s life. Early care and education providers are important partners with parents and families to build a strong foundation for a child’s success in school and life.
“Provider Appreciation Day is a time we can celebrate the people who are the brain developers,” said Jennifer Nizer, Director of Office of Child Care, MSDE’s Division of Early Childhood. “In early childhood, the providers are getting children at their peak of brain development and they are building the foundation for all future knowledge. Providers hold the key to opening the child’s brain. We need to celebrate them every day!”
In addition to supporting children’s growth and development, the early childhood profession is an important part of the national economy. The Committee for Economic Development states that more than 6 million children under the age of five are in paid child care programs. When families have access to high-quality child care, they can pursue employment or education opportunities that will lead to higher earnings for the family.
Here are some suggestions from Child Care Aware® to show appreciation to the early care and education provider in your life:
- Get together with other parents to create a surprise.
- Send flowers, cards, or a note of appreciation.
- Work with your child to create a special remembrance.
- Buy something for your provider’s play area.
- Give your provider a paid day off, a raise, or a bonus.
- Find out your provider’s hobby and buy an appropriate gift or gift card.
- Check to see if your employer provides scholarships for toys, equipment, or training that you can sponsor as a parent.
If you would like to honor the early care and education provider in your life, share your story on Facebook or Twitter @MDEngageEarly, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or nominate them for Provider of the Month through Child Care Aware®.