A Party You Don’t Want to Miss: 3 Ways to Celebrate Provider Appreciation Day

February 14, 2022


Provider Appreciation Day® began in 1996 when a group of volunteers in New Jersey decided to celebrate the child care providers in their community. Over the past nearly 30 years, this day of celebration has spread far and wide.  

Observed annually on the Friday before Mother’s Day, celebrations can range from community events, like parades, to digital activism, like raising awareness of child care-specific legislation. In 2021, families, advocates and local Child Care Resource & Referral agencies shared thousands of messages on social media and hosted events in dozens of states. In fact, 8 governors and countless local officials issued official proclamations.  

It’s not hard to plan a celebration, and it’s deeply meaningful to the people who nurture the social and emotional well-being of our nation’s children. But like planning any celebration, there are a few important things to know to pull off a successful Provider Appreciation Day.  

Gather your party-planning committee. Can you bring together child care advocates, local businesses, and families to get a range of ideas and perspectives? Are there organizations already planning a celebration? Get together and brainstorm ways to make child care providers feel appreciated. Better yet, talk to providers themselves and learn what they might appreciate most. Perhaps a small gesture, like a gift card, is most meaningful. 

Decide how you’ll celebrate. What type of celebration best fits your community? Is there a community center willing to host the event? Can local businesses offer a special discount to providers on May 6? Talk with your local chamber of commerce, the library and your local Child Care Resource & Referral agency to get ideas on the venue and event format. 

Invite your guests. Are you hosting a virtual or in-person event? Where will it be held? This year, Provider Appreciation Day will be celebrated on Friday, May 6. Help people understand how they can be involved. Send a press release to your local media outlets and encourage them to cover the event or interview providers and families. Provider Appreciation Day  is a great opportunity to educate the public on the good work of child care providers.  

Ready? Child Care Aware® of America makes it easy to get your party started:  

  1. Sign up to become a supporter. Once you’re signed up, you’ll receive regular updates that include resources you can use for your own community’s celebration.  
  2. Submit a proclamation to your local government. Connect with local advocates and community organizations to coordinate a proclamation. Use the template on the Provider Appreciation Day website and submit to your elected officials sooner rather than later (some offices need up to 60 days for proclamation requests).  
  3. Record a 60-second #ThankYouChildCare video message. Go straight to the heart with a simple and genuine video message. Share the video request with families and community leaders and encourage them to record a message. Videos will be featured on the Provider Appreciation Day(R) website, across social media on May 6, and you’ll even get a copy of the video for you to share.  

Child care providers were “essential” long before the pandemic. They keep our children safe, nurture their curiosity and prepare them for a lifetime of learning and growth. 

So consider this your party invitation. Together with our network of Child Care Resource and Referral agencies, national, community and business partners, we invite you to join us in thanking and celebrating child care providers across the nation.

Get the Party Started

Do you already have your celebration planned? We’d love to hear from you, and may even feature your event on the blog. Write to us at partnerships@usa.childcareaware.org.  

Interested in a more formal partnership or sponsorship of Provider Appreciation Day® 2022? Email partnerships@usa.childcareaware.org. 

Topics: Family & Community Engagement

Meg Biallas

Written by Meg Biallas

Meg Biallas is the Sr. Manager, Digital Marketing for Child Care Aware® of America. She has designed and implemented digital communications campaigns for youth- and health-focused organizations for more than 10 years. Prior to coming to CCAoA, she worked for the Center for Public Justice, First Focus, RAINN and Council for a Strong America. Meg has a bachelor of arts in journalism from Butler University (Indianapolis, Ind.) and is currently an MBA candidate at the Butler University Andre B. Lacy School of Business.