5 Languages of Appreciation for National Provider Appreciation Day

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National Provider Appreciation Day is a special day to thank all child care providers. It is celebrated on the Friday before Mother’s Day, which falls on May 10, 2024. This day recognizes the work of child care providers, teachers, and other educators of young children. These essential workers play a crucial role in helping working parents continue to provide for their families by caring for and educating children.

History of Provider Appreciation Day 

The history of National Provider Appreciation Day dates back to the evolution of child care. In earlier times, elder family members naturally took on the role of child care providers. However, with the impact of the Industrial Revolution, more parents went to work outside the home, leading to organized daycare in the United States. Child care providers, including family-based and center-based professionals, contribute significantly to their communities, yet their work often goes unnoticed. National Provider Appreciation Day aims to change that by highlighting their positive impact and recognizing their efforts. 

While no specific individual or organization claims to be the founder of this holiday, it is believed that a group of volunteer child care workers in New Jersey initiated it in 1996. Their goal was to acknowledge the valuable work of child care professionals, which was often taken for granted. Let’s take this opportunity to express our gratitude to child care providers and celebrate their essential role in shaping young lives! 

5 Ways to Show Your Appreciation 

Using the 5 Languages of Appreciation, you can help your provider feel like the rockstars they are. As Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”  

Words of Affirmation 

Saying words that let your provider know they have done something valuable is always a good idea. Compliments, words of encouragement, and verbalized gratitude resonate deeply with individuals who value this language, making them feel cherished and understood. However, if you want to be effective with words of affirmation, be specific. Show that you are paying attention to what matters: 

  • “I know it can be difficult at times, but you are helping shape the next generation of Nebraskans and I am incredibly grateful our children have the opportunity to know your love and kindness. Happy Provider Appreciation Day!” 
  • “I learned that nearly 90% of brain development takes place during a child’s first 5 years of life, and I just want you to know how appreciative I am that you, [insert name of provider], are helping shape how my child’s brain develops.” 

Want to send a personalized message? Download a free notecard to print and customize! 

Quality Time 

Spending time with your provider and truly listening to them express their ideas is an effective way to show your appreciation. Show your provider that you appreciate them by inviting them to sit down and have a conversation with you over a cup of coffee or lunch! Giving them your undivided attention for a short amount of time is a great way to reach those who desire quality time.  

Acts of Service 

Performing acts of service builds connections and contributes to a better relationship with your provider. A stronger relationship leads to increased job satisfaction and shows your provider they are an important person in your life. For individuals who resonate with this form of appreciation, such gestures bring about feelings of relief, happiness, and a deeper sense of connection. Go above and beyond for your child care provider by: 

  • Cooking them a meal that they can take home after a long day.
  • Putting together a care basket with essential cleaning items. 
  • Bringing them a coffee and snack when you drop off your kids.
  • Dropping off flowers to brighten their day.   

Giving Tangible Gifts 

Giving tangible gifts is not about the cost of the gift but more about demonstrating that you thought of the person and bought something you knew they would appreciate. Those who respond to tangible gifts are by no means materialistic—it could be as simple as bringing your provider a gift card for a coffee shop. Does your provider have an Amazon Wishlist? Show you appreciate them by fulfilling an item on their Wishlist. Consider organizing a group effort with other parents to purchase new material for your provider’s classroom!

Appropriate Physical Touch 

Depending on your relationship with your provider, providers who prefer appropriate physical touch often feel appreciated with a good hug, especially from the dear children in their care! Consider sending your child with a handwritten note expressing your gratitude for your provider and have them deliver it with a hug. In addition, a strong handshake with a kind message goes a long way.