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Friday, July 10, 2020

Opinions > Guest Editorial

Happy Provider Appreciation Day

May 7, 2020

By Donna Will - executive director - s.c. child care council, inc.

Started in 1996 by a group of volunteers in New Jersey, Provider Appreciation Day is appropriately celebrated each year on the Friday before Mother's Day. The founding organizers saw the need to recognize the tireless efforts of child care providers who care for children of working parents.
This year, we as a worldwide community battle the COVID-19 Pandemic child care providers need more thanks and recognition than any other year prior to today. Sullivan County has a total of forty-five licensed and registered child care programs of various modalities, of those; twenty-five have made the personal choice to remain open to serve our community and it's essential workers.
These programs serve at minimum six families and up to over thirty families per day. And each day with each drop off and pick up brings additional risk to these providers, their families and their staff.
They are working longer hours and caring for more children than pre-pandemic. They are charged with keeping a sense of normalcy for the children's mental health and well being with little attention paid to themselves.
Our child care providers greet our children each day to care and nurture them so our health care workers, gas and food store clerks, law enforcement and many others we can go off to work knowing they are leaving their children in good hands. Child care providers spend their days teaching our children, supporting their emotional well being, preparing food, cleaning up, teaching manners, interacting and playing, preparing food again and cleaning up again.
And in addition to their direct care hours, with most weeks well above fifty hours, still need to shop for food, clean and disinfect their program areas/houses and complete required paper work and now more than ever before worry about their own and their families health and well being. They continuously participate in training and professional development and maintain CPR and First Aid certification.
Why do they work so hard, because they love what they do and genuinely care about the families and children they care for. Today is the day to thank these good people for the hard work they do and the care they take to ensure our kids are safe and happy.
The saying, “we are all in this together” is a cliché that does not illuminate the individual situation of each and every person wallowing in this pandemic. Let today be about our child care providers. Please take a moment and show your appreciation and thanks by bringing them flowers, write a kind note, work with your child to create a special remembrance, buy something for their program, pick your child up early, or give your provider a paid day off, a raise, or a bonus. Think about how hard you work each day and then think about your provider's day. Would you like to trade places?
Happy Provider Appreciation Day to all of our hard working child care providers and thank you!

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