Dear families, caregivers, child care providers, and people of Washington,
This Friday, May 6th, we celebrate Provider Appreciation Day and the adults in Washington who care for young children (www.providerappreciation.org). I always smile on this day, because I remember being a center director who felt the love of the children and families I served on this day each year. In fact, I still have one of the appreciation gifts I received over 30 years ago (see pictures). This was a simple gift and one I have carried with me as my career has unfolded.
I hope you will agree that these critical educators have been essential to families, communities, and our economy long before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, but the past few years have highlighted just how important they are in our daily lives. Child care providers keep our children safe, nurture their growing skills and talents, and help to prepare them for school and life. As families navigated new challenges in juggling work demands during pandemic disruptions, child care providers stepped up and provided a crucial service for parents and caregivers of young children, while adapting to changing health guidance to keep children and their families safe.
At Child Care Aware of Washington (CCA of WA), our staff and facilitators provide coaching and support services to child care providers statewide. Throughout the pandemic, we worked closely with providers and caregivers, answering their questions, listening to their concerns, advocating for their needs, providing supplies and resources, and supporting their programs through training, coaching, and other services. As you might imagine, providers are tired, making this year a truly important year to appreciate their hard work.
As we at CCA of WA reflect on the heroic work of child care providers in Washington during these past years and always, we ask you to join us in celebrating and appreciating these critical educators. Here are some ways you can acknowledge the child care provider in your life:
- Send a bouquet of flowers, a thank you card, or a handwritten note of appreciation
- Work with your child or with other families to create a special gift
- Share a message on social media appreciating the impact of their care for your family
- Surprise your provider with a thank you basket or gift card (ex. coffee, take out, etc.)
- Buy something for your provider’s play area
I hope you will join me in celebrating early childhood educators. It is more important than ever to act this year!
All my best,
Deeann Burtch Puffert
CEO, Child Care Aware of Washington