National Provider Appreciation Day: May 9

May 4, 2008

Arlington, VA - Child care organizations and parents across the globe are joining together the Friday before Mother's Day, May 9, 2008, to celebrate Provider Appreciation Day. Provider Appreciation Day is a special day to recognize child care providers, teachers, school-age program staff, child care center directors and staff, and all those who work with children in a variety of ways and are responsible for their education and care. It is estimated that there are nearly 2.8 million child care providers in the United States and that nearly 12 million children under age 5 are in their care.

"By applauding the dedication of child care providers on May 9, we remind our communities of the importance of high-quality child care, and let providers everywhere know that we recognize and value their important work," said Linda K. Smith, Executive Director of the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA), the lead sponsor of Provider Appreciation Day. "It is important that the care a child receives during the first five years of life be of high-quality because 90 percent of brain development occurs during those years."

In recent years, local governments across the United States have joined many Governors in proclaiming this day of recognition. Around the globe, Department of Defense installations celebrate Provider Appreciation Day by recognizing those who care for the children of military parents living both at home and abroad. The celebrations this year promise to carry on and strengthen Provider Appreciation Day. Events such as luncheons, parades, dedications, and other recognition celebrations are planned throughout the United Staes in an effort to honor child care providers for their hard work and commitment to children.

Provider Appreciation Day is a special day to recognize child care providers, teachers, and other educators of young children everywhere. 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 providers who care for children of working parents. Momentum and support for this event has grown each year and recognition presently includes individuals and government organizations throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.

To learn more about Provider Appreciation Day or for ideas on how you can thank your child care provider, visit www.providerappreciation.org.