May is Provider Appreciation Month:
Being a child care provider is not an easy job, but it certainly is one of the most important. It is also one of the lowest paying and least celebrated.
The wages childcare providers receive certainly do not reflect the importance or the demands of their work.
Further, even though child care providers work hard and have a very important job, sometimes the nature of the job means that they don't have access to health care or other important benefits. As a profession, they don't always get the respect they deserve. And, working with children all day, even though it is rewarding for many child care providers, is also isolating work with little adult contact.
Provider Appreciation Day is a yearly even for parents and the Community to recognize the importance of childcare providers. This year it is celebrated on Friday, May 7. Providers support families and make it possible for many parents to work and contribute to the national economy. Provider Appreciation Day began in 1996. A group of volunteers put it together to bring attention to and applaud the every day dedication and good work of child care providers. Since 1996, it has been on the Friday before Mother's Day.
Some things to do for your provider: gift certificates, a paid day off, flowers, cards, candy, anything that will let them know that they are important to you!
I repeat this not because I'm asking for gifts, but becuase I think a lot of the time, people don't realize what my job is. Sure, I stay at home, but I also lack adult contact, must adhere to strict rules and regulations regarding cleaning/sanitizing, and make less than $4/hour. My home is my work, and my work is my home. I chose this knowing full well what I was doing -- but not understanding how little appreciation others would show me.
Thankfully, the children that are in my care have wonderful parents who tell me often how much they appreciate me. I often get "I don't know how you do this" and the truth is, there are times when I'm not sure myself. In the end, I love my job, I love my kids and I love their families. The idea of Provider Appreciation is nice, I'm just thankful that I get it more than just once a year from the people who matter most to me.