Quality Child Care – A Priceless Commodity that Deserves Recognition
Fairfield, Iowa – The Jefferson County Child Care Steering Committee is proud to partner with Iowa/Jefferson/Keokuk Early Childhood Iowa and the Fairfield Economic Development Association in recognizing child care providers/early educators for Child Care Provider Appreciation Day.
This year we celebrate Child Care Provider Appreciation Day on May 8th to honor child care providers across the county for the extraordinary work they do. This special day is intended to recognize all those who nurture, teach, and care for children in multiple settings across the country. Child care settings include school- and community-based preschools, Head Start programs, child care centers, and homes.
National Provider Appreciation Day® was started in 1996 by a group of volunteers in New Jersey. This group saw the need to recognize the tireless efforts of providers who care for children of working parents. Each year, due to increased momentum and support, recognition has expanded to include individual and government organizations throughout the United States. A proclamation is signed each year by many of the state governors.
Although Child Care Provider Appreciation Day is recognized every year in May on the Friday before Mother’s Day, it is important that we show our appreciation year-round for individuals who serve an important role in providing high-quality child care. Iowa/Jefferson/Keokuk Early Childhood Iowa Board Member Dee Sandquist, “we know that nurturing and responsive early care and education provides a solid foundation for children’s ongoing success.” Research indicates that there is a direct link between caregiver training and quality of care, so to achieve a high quality of care, child care providers must receive suitable training and compensation.
Less than one-third of the children in America have a full-time stay-at-home parent. The child care provider is a partner in raising one’s children. Parents carefully choose their child care provider. It may be a private home daycare, a daycare center, an in-home provider, or a live-in nanny. They put their trust in them as they share the child-rearing responsibilities with them.
Child care providers work very long days, and often are not compensated well. During the current COVID-19 crisis, providers are working extra hard following new guidelines for sanitation and social distancing, while also facing the increased risk of exposure. Please make sure to let your provider know how much you appreciate all they do for your child and family. “COVID-19 has shown us that child care providers are important infrastructure in our communities,” Tammy Wetjen-Kesterson, Iowa/Jefferson/Keokuk Early Childhood Iowa Director.
There are many ways to thank your provider and show your appreciation. Here are a few ideas:
• Have your child make them a special card or a poster
• Drop off breakfast or lunch
• Give a gift card
• Bring a special treat
• Write a nice note
Please remember to utilize social distancing when thanking child care providers.