With Child Care Provider Appreciation day being today (May 8th), I started to look for an article or blog that I could write a short intro for and then post. Some may say that is the lazy way to do it; I say it’s efficient.

Well, after reading through articles and blogs, here I am writing a piece anyway. Why am I writing this piece? Because while I was searching for the perfect article or blog, what I came across was a plethora of pieces. Everything from “Open Letters” of appreciation to complaints about the cost of child care. So I decided to share a few of the ones I particularly liked.

This one, Thank You for Loving My Baby, is so heartwarming I had to include it. The author writes, “Thank you for loving our baby. Your influence on him can never be measured. He thrives today – and was definitely “school ready” – because of you. And for that, we can never thank you enough.” We all want our children to be safe and loved. And while we speak in metrics, data, and measurable impacts, this mother knows that Ms. Karla’s influence on her son will shape the adult he becomes.

There are so many more that tug at your heart-strings. But for those of us who’s children are grown and, as I like to say, off the payroll, why is having quality child care providers important? It’s vital to our local and state economy. The Committee for Economic Development out of Arlington, VA, has done extensive research on the impact of Child Care in State Economies. You can read the research, but the short of it is, for a community to be economically viable and attractive to businesses and industry, they must have high-quality child care providers. But wait, there’s more! Child Care providers also generate revenue in a community. According to the report, in 2016, 675,000 child care businesses in the U.S., which are mostly small businesses, produced revenue totaling $47.2 billion and generated an additional $52.1 billion in “spillover” in other industries for a total economic impact of $99.3 billion. Service industries of comparable size include medical and diagnostic labs ($47.2 billion), spectator sports ($46 billion), pipeline transportation ($44.5 billion), and water transportation ($43.3 billion).

I can’t imagine any other field of work that has this large of an impact on our hearts, our future, or our economic growth. During this COVID-19 climate, they are jumping through hoops to meet new state and federal guidelines to keep everyone safe so that they can care for the children of other essential workers; they deserve all the gratitude and appreciation we can give them and more.

Young girl with sippy cup

So if you will, raise a sippy cup and toast your child care provider. Because this 2015 open letter from a mommy says it best, “You act as the principal, the referee, the accountant, the parent, the confidant, the cook, the janitor and the boss all day, every day.” Cheers to all you Child Care Providers, the impact you make today, last a lifetime.