May 10, 2019, is Provider Appreciation Day, a day to honor child care providers for the amazing work they do. Today, we recognize all those who teach, care and nurture children — not only for the vital service they provide, but for the lifelong impact they have on the children they care for.
Early care and education professionals rarely get the credit they’re due for the crucial, undeniable role they play in preparing our children for health, happiness and education. In recent years, we’ve learned a great deal about what happens in a child’s brain before kindergarten, and how caring, nurturing teachers can prepare children for success. From birth to age 5, positive interactions with great teachers can influence a child’s brain architecture, creating a firm foundation for future learning, social-emotional and physical health.
Research indicates children who spend time with high-quality teachers early in life are more likely to do well in school, find good jobs, and become valuable members of society. Research has also shown that taxpayers receive a significant return on investments in high-quality early education, due to improved educational outcomes, increased workforce participation, and a reduction in crime.
To achieve a high quality of care, child care providers must receive adequate training and compensation. Unfortunately, teachers working in the child care sector are often undercompensated — making roughly 50 percent of what their K-12 peers receive — and rarely having access to benefits or professional development.
In recognition of Provider Appreciation Day, join me in thanking teachers for their amazing work, and advocating for the systemic change that is needed so families have access to high-quality care, and individuals who provide it are fairly compensated.
The Family Conservancy President and CEO