Provider Appreciation Day

As this year’s Teacher Appreciation Week draws to a close, we want to take a moment to recognize early learning and child care providers specifically, for the vital role that you play in shaping the next generation. Friday, May 10, 2024 is Provider Appreciation Day, also known as National Child Care Provider Day, which recognizes the invaluable contributions of childcare providers, early childhood educators, and all providers caring for young children.

The early years of a child’s life are the most critical, with 90% of brain development happening before age five. And yet in the United States, there is no universal early learning system like the public school system that exists once children start kindergarten. Despite the knowledge that the early years are crucial for brain development, we do not invest in child care for young children in a way that would make a listing impact.

Full-time early learning teachers in child care centers make less than half of what kindergarten teachers make. One of the goals of IMPACT is to provide support through training and consultation to the early learning field and the providers who work within it. The field is under resourced and underfunded, and providers, young children, and families need more support during these early years of life!

While a child spends about six hours a day at school once they enter kindergarten, many children under six spend eight or more hours a day in child care. Spending so much time with children, early childhood educators have a unique opportunity to build real relationships and support the development of so many important skills for the children they care for.

In order for parents to work, they need child care. The state of our economy as a nation depends on you, the providers who care for young children. Economic studies have shown a return on investment of between $3 and $13 for every dollar invested in early childhood, which means high-quality early learning isn’t only important for young children, but it’s good for our country as a whole. High-quality early learning leads to lifelong positive outcomes for individuals, including improvements in kindergarten readiness, high school graduation rates, physical health, and even adult employment in the future.

Because the work that you all do each day is so critical, we want to encourage you to join us in advocating for more investments in child care. You deserve more support and more resources to continue the vital work that you do. Thanks to the caring, supportive relationships you create with young children, you truly are helping to shape the next generation!

We hope you feel celebrated and appreciated today and every day. Thank you for all that you do!

- The IMPACT Team