How Hawaii Celebrated its First Statewide Provider Appreciation Day
By Nicole Higa
As we approach Provider Appreciation Day® (May 6, 2022) we are highlighting how communities are honoring the contributions of their child care providers. Sign up to be a supporter and get resources to plan your celebration.
In 2021, PATCH Hawaii, a child care resource and referral agency (CCR&R) for the Hawaiian Islands, celebrated its first statewide Provider Appreciation Day®. We wanted to make sure this one was extra special because it was a tough year for everyone, including our family child care providers. These providers persisted, providing care for the children of Hawaii. As the local CCR&R, we wanted to show child care providers our appreciation for all that they did in 2021 -- and all that they continue to do.
PATCH Hawaii hosted a virtual event for all registered family child care providers and potential providers in the state. Prior to the event, we invited participants to pick up activity supplies at their local PATCH office. The activity kit included a book about how to teach children gardening and cooking with fresh Hawaii-grown produce, Pinkeye Purple Hull Cowpea seeds (purchased from the Hawaii Seed Growers Network), Blue Butterfly Pea flowers and a gift card to purchase soil, a plant starter and two pots). We had nearly 30 child care providers attend!
First, Tiana, the event facilitator, allotted time for tech setup and instructed participants on setting up their workspace (a gardening area and a cooking area). Tiana shared background information about gardening in Hawaii. We learned how to make paper pots and how to re-pot plants when they “outgrow their homes.” Tiana also shared the best way to get children to eat fruits and veggies: include kids in the process because they will be more willing to try something. Together, we made herbal tea using our mint leaves, hot water and butterfly pea flower. The activity was part science experiment, too. When we mixed lemon juice with the mint tea and butterfly pea flower, the water turned purple before our eyes!
After the Provider Appreciation Day® event, participants received a certificate of participation in the mail along with a wellness kit, which included a bath gift set and a mug imprinted with the message “Teachers Plant the Seeds that Grow Forever.”
What’s in store for 2022? This year, we plan to have in-person provider socials throughout the state. Activities will include a lei po’o workshop, a massage workshop, a training on the theory of multiple intelligences and a spring wreath-making workshop.
It is so important that we celebrate providers because their work makes a huge difference in the world, and they deserve to be recognized. Our providers were very thankful for the interactive training and enjoyed connecting with their peers.
Inspired to plan your Provider Appreciation Day® celebration? Sign up to be a supporter and get resources for your celebration.