Step Up To Quality Stories

Gratitude Ideas for Provider Appreciation Day

It takes a village to raise a child: parents, families, teachers and child care providers all contribute to shaping the next generation.

With more than 75 percent of both parents in Nebraska homes working outside the home, children sometimes spend more of their waking hours with child care providers and teachers than with parents and family — meaning it’s important to find quality care to nurture their development. Children who receive quality early child care and education are more likely to be on track for life-long success, and those who are committed to establishing this essential foundation deserve recognition.

Child care providers are often with our children through the highs and lows, the good days and challenging days. Friday, May 7 is National Provider Appreciation Day, and it’s a great time to recognize those who go above and beyond to help educate Nebraska’s kids.

Gratitude Goes a Long Way

When asked on Step Up to Quality’s Facebook page about some of the most memorable ways families have said “thanks” over the years, many child care professionals had something to contribute. Here’s a selection:

  • “I recently had a parent send a handwritten Christmas card, noting very specific things that she appreciated I had done to help her child. That is a card I will keep. It made me want to cry.” —Lindsay Ferguson
  • “I often think the biggest gift is not necessarily something of monetary value. When seeing kids later in life, and they stop to talk or share hugs, or when I receive an invite to their graduation or even weddings, speaks volumes about how they feel about me.” —Melloney Tenopir
  • “I had a family buy me a tree last year. When their child and I would go for walks, we would see this beautiful tree with purple flowers on it. We would talk about the colors, flowers, smell and how I loved that tree. On our last week together, they brought me my own purple flowering tree. Every time I look out my front door I think of little Henry!” —Angie Kaup

Other Gratitude Ideas

A small act of kindness can mean the world to our providers. Here are a few more gift ideas:

  • Classroom materials and supplies
  • Gift cards (coffee shop, nail salon, restaurants, garden center)
  • Delivery of lunch or coffee
  • Relaxing items like candles, lotions or bath bombs
  • Framed pictures
  • Art made by your child

There are so many ways to show appreciation for the work that goes into educating kids. Emotional burnout is real in all fields, but especially in early childhood education. It is important that we uplift our child care teachers every day, and we encourage you to use this holiday as a special reminder of your thanks.