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 10, 2013, 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 5 are cared for by 2.8 million child care providers in the United States.
“Every day, au pairs care for thousands children in the United States,” says Susan Robinson, Vice President of Cultural Care Au Pair. “The children and parents depend on our child care providers. May 10 is the day to recognize the hard work and dedication of all providers 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 10, we remind our communities of the importance of quality child care 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.”
In recent years, local governments across the United States have joined many Governors in proclaiming this day of recognition. Around the globe, Department of Defense installations celebrate Provider Appreciation Day by recognizing those who care for the children of military parents living both at home and abroad. Events such as luncheons, parades, dedications, and other recognition celebrations are planned throughout the United States to honor and thank child care providers for their hard work and commitment to children.
“It takes a special person to work in the child care field,” says Robinson. “This day offers an opportunity for parents to show their child care providers their appreciation.”
To learn more about Provider Appreciation Day or for ideas on how you can thank your child care provider, visit http://www.providerappreciationday.org.
About Child Care Aware® of America
Child Care Aware® of America is our nation’s leading voice for child care. We work with more than 600 state and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies nationwide to help ensure that all families have access to quality, affordable child care. To achieve our mission, we lead projects that increase the quality and availability of child care professionals, undertake research, and advocate child care policies that improve the lives of children and families. To learn how you can join us in ensuring access to quality child care for all families, visit us at http://www.usa.childcareaware.org