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Child Care Provider Appreciation: 5 Ways to Say Thanks

Did you know Child Care Provider Appreciation Day is Friday, May 10, 2024? This national day is celebrated the Friday before Mother’s Day, and is designed to recognize the early educators, family child care providers, and caregivers of young children. 

As a program leader, how will you recognize the early childhood providers, teachers, and staff who serve the children and families in your community? If you’re looking for new ideas, here are five ways to show appreciation:

1. Write a note.

It may seem old school but don’t underestimate the power of a written thank you note. Encourage the families of the children you serve to say “thank you” in their own way. You can even print a post card template for families to fill in and give to the special child care provider in their lives.

2. Take a load off.

Lightening a teacher’s load is a great way to show appreciation. Volunteer to help with tasks in the classroom, or ask a teacher how you can help. Here are a few ideas:

  • Step into the classroom so they can take an extra 15-minute break
  • Hang children’s art on the walls
  • Help with end-of-day cleaning tasks so they can leave early
  • Be another set of hands during a messy sensory or art activity
  • Assist with organizing files or labeling classroom shelves

3. Share discounts.

Many businesses offer discounts or freebies to say thank you. Visit one of the organizations below to learn more about their programs. Share these with your early educators:

  • Million Dollar Teacher Project (Maricopa County). Each May, local businesses offer discounts and free services to teachers. Show your teacher badge or Arizona Early Childhood Workforce Registry member ID to access discounts May 5-11, 2024.
  • Tucson Values Teachers. Fill out the online form to get your discount card mailed to you so you can access discounts all year long.

4. Shower them with gratitude.

Whether it’s a package of their favorite snack, a catered lunch, or something in between, there are many ways to show your thanks. Check out this video for a few ideas.

5. Advocate.

Ultimately, we can show early educators that we appreciate them by advocating for the profession. We can influence change by elevating our voices in communities and to elected officials. Visit the Arizona Association for the Education of Young Children (AzAEYC) Advocacy and Public Policy page for a wealth of resources.

Child Care Aware of America has a Child Care Provider Appreciation Day Toolkit. Visit the toolkit for social media tools, press releases, printables and more to help you celebrate this special day.

We’d love to hear from you!

At Quality First, we want to hear from you! How do you appreciate your child care providers? Send an email to QualityFirst@FirstThingsFirst.org.