May 9 is Provider Appreciation Day, a day set aside for appreciating child care providers and early childhood educators across the country. To celebrate, Office of Child Care staff across the country took a moment to reflect on the ways early care and education providers have impacted our families. Below are thoughts from our team, and we encourage you to take a minute to appreciate the teachers and providers who are important to your family
My family child care provider has supported me and my husband in helping our daughter grow in ways we never imagined. Every afternoon we look forward to the daily photo journal that she sends so we have a window into how our daughter has spent her day. Our daughter is always happy to go to "school" and see her friends. We know our provider is a big part of the reason for the compliments about how happy our daughter is and how much she knows. As a new parent, my provider has helped guide and support me through all of the transitions during the first year and is a real partner to my husband and me.
- Dawn, Alexandria, VA
Our family child care provider and her assistants are still a part of our lives 17 years later. They provided my daughter with friends and the social skills to be successful when she entered kindergarten. Thank you Sandy, Mary Kay and Jennifer!
- Agda, Seattle, WA
My young son Emory has definitely been doing things at his own pace and I was kind of sad when the other kids were crawling and pulling up and Emory wasn’t there yet. One day my child care provider called me to tell me Emory was pulling up and crawling! I was truly excited! It may seem like a simple thing, but unfortunately working parents may miss out on some of their children’s “firsts” and it’s a blessing to have a provider(s) who cares enough and is considerate enough to be excited with you and to call and let you know about your baby’s firsts!
- LaPrayshia, Lithonia, GA
Our five-year-old daughter has been in the same child care center her entire life. Last October, our family was under great stress due to the purchase of a new home, my job uncertainty and a death in the immediate family - all in the same week. The child care director and staff allowed us to adjust her schedule weekly, as needed, so we could attend to family matters while our daughter remained in a consistent, familiar routine with her friends and teachers. Their flexibility, kindness and support were invaluable during this very challenging time.
- Amy, Lynn, MA
Part of my job includes researching the importance of positive attachment when it comes to child-teacher relationships. So, in addition to the comfort of knowing that my two-year old son is in a safe and educationally stimulating environment (with a licensed family home provider), it is extremely gratifying to see him run into the arms of his teachers and know that he is well-loved in a way that allows him to truly thrive.
- Minh, Washington, DC
Taking my four month old to a licensed family child care home two streets away helped ease my transition back to work. Not only did "Kat” provide quality care for our daughter, she became another grandmother to our daughter, eagerly taking my daughter from my arms to hers each morning. Seven years later, we are still very close with our provider's entire extended family, and one of the before/after-school children, Kat's grandson, is now a star high school rugby player, headed off to college in the fall.
-Ginny, Alexandria VA