National Provider Appreciation Day®: How to Celebrate Providers in Unprecedented Times

April 22, 2020


Together, let’s celebrate child care providers on National Provider Appreciation Day® — Friday, May 8, 2020. Whether you are part of a Child Care Resource and Referral agency (CCR&R), a business, a non-profit organization or a family who has relied on a child care provider, you recognize the important role providers have in caring for our nation’s children. They nurture and educate our youngest citizens while supporting parents who want or need to be part of our nation’s workforce.

Honoring child care providers will take on a more profound meaning for many this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Child care programs have been faced with many challenges: making difficult decisions about whether to close their doors or remain open to provide emergency care for essential workers, dealing with financial uncertainty, keeping informed on rapidly changing protocols, navigating financial relief programs and much more. Despite the challenges, child care providers continue to take steps to do what is best for children and families. Providers are among this country’s unsung heroes. 


History of National Provider Appreciation Day®

Over two decades ago, a group of volunteers in New Jersey decided to set aside a day to honor child care providers, teachers and other educators who dedicate their lives to caring for and educating young children. Since its inauguration in 1996, National Provider Appreciation Day® has been celebrated on the Friday before Mother’s Day.


Help Us Celebrate

We encourage CCR&Rs, businesses, not-for-profit organizations and others to take this special opportunity to recognize the important work of child care providers and say “thank you” for the difference they make in children’s lives.  Please tell families, businesses, organizations and others about this important occasion and share the tips below as examples of ways to show gratitude to child care providers on May 8.


Tips for Celebrating National Provider Appreciation Day®

Here are some ideas on how to let child care providers know how much you appreciate all that they do.


  • Send a thank-you card to share your words of appreciation.
  • Have children draw pictures to send to providers.
  • Send messages of appreciation to providers through a text or email.
  • Video chat with your provider to say “thank you” face-to-face. 

CCR&Rs and Early Childhood Organizations

  • Share messages of appreciation to child care providers via social media. Download social media tiles you can use from the bottom of this post!
  • Use #ProviderAppreciationDay to post on social media.
  • Share a certificate of appreciation.
  • Create an agency “thank-you” video with a message of appreciation for providers. Embed on your agency website or share on social media.


  • Provide a special hero discount or coupon.
  • Offer a freebie or gift card.
  • Hang a poster or sign on your window or door thanking providers.
  • Create gift baskets.
  • Share a “thank you” through a letter, email, or social media post.
  • Donate supplies / groceries for a child care program or classroom.
  • Donate pampering / self-care gifts.
  • Honor providers as essential workers.
  • Adopt / Sponsor a child care program.


Download a Facebook Tile Download a Instagram Tile Download a Twitter Tile


ProviderAppreicationDay-SaveTheDate-Insta ProviderAppreicationDay-SaveTheDate-Twitter


We hope that you enjoy and share these ideas to honor child care providers on May 8!


Topics: Business Operations for CCR&Rs, Workforce, Family & Community Engagement, Brain Building Tips

Kandi Novak

Written by Kandi Novak

Kandi Novak is the Technical Assistance Specialist for the Vroom Partnership initiative at Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA). Her work focuses on providing technical assistance and training to child care resource and referral agencies on integrating science-based resources and tools that promote early brain development into their outreach and services to families, child care programs, and community partners. Kandi brings experience in child care resource and referral, early childhood mental health, and early childhood education along with a BA in Psychology and a MA in Human Development and Family Studies.