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5 Ways to Celebrate Child Care Providers

The first full week of May is Teacher Appreciation Week (May 1-7, 2022), a time to celebrate educators for all they do for children of all ages.

The Loup Valley Childhood Initiative (LVCI) would especially like to honor and thank child care providers during National Provider Appreciation Day (Friday, May 6, 2022).

Organized child care took off in the U.S. in the 1990's during the Industrial Revolution when more and more parents were going to work. Ever since, child care providers truly serve as the backbone of a local economy. In fact, they're often referred to as "the workforce behind the workforce." They allow working parents to work while also teaching a community's youngest members who will one day serve as the next generation of workforce. Not only that, the caring, positive relationships children develop with their child care providers also help foster a strong sense of place and connection with their community. When they know adults in their hometowns love and care for them, the stronger the desire they may have to remain in or return to their hometown to pursue their careers and raise their own family in the future.

Here are some ideas to spark gestures of appreciation that parents and families, businesses and community members can do to honor local child care providers that contribute so much to their community:

5 Ways to Celebrate & Honor Child Care Providers

  1. Create a heart-felt note or card to express how much your child and your family appreciate them. Bonus points if the tiny artists in your life design the card.

  2. Treat them with a gift certificate to a local coffee shop, boutique, spa, salon or their favorite restaurant. ChamberBucks are a great idea too! Providers care for little ones each and every weekday so it's safe to say they've earned the opportunity to treat themselves.

  3. Create a gift basket of items that fuel their passions and interests outside of caring for children. Does your child care provider love to garden? Take a trip to your local greenhouse to find fun and unique gift items. Do they love to craft? Put together a fun craft kit for them to enjoy.

  4. Deliver lunch. Providers rarely have a free moment during the day so delivering a special lunch (or coffee or ready-made, take-home dinner), just for them, in the middle of their work day would be an extra special treat. Their schedules may be a bit chaotic so reach out to see when would be a good time for their lunch to be delivered.

  5. Gift items commonly used for day-to-day care of their children. Child care providers run their own small business so gifted items they and their children will enjoy together helps support their bottom line. Inquire about commonly used items such as craft supplies or books to see what the greatest need is.

How do you plan to celebrate the child care providers in your community?

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