BY HEIDI WOODARD, resource & referral counselor, chautauqua opportunities
As Mother's Day approaches, you might find yourself planning special treats for moms, grandmas, mothers-in-law, sisters, special friends, aunts and anyone else who might play a special role in your child's life. Mother’s Day is a time where children, families, friends, and other individuals recognize the special importance that mothers play in our daily life. This is the person who helps your development through loving you and helping you with your plight in the world.
Mother’s Day isn’t just meant to have wild and fancy means of affection or gifts. It is a day to truly let your mother know how much you love and apprecaite all she does. This can be done in many touching heartfelt ways. Poems, letters, cards, special treats, and homemade breakfasts/lunchs are all thoughtful do it yourself ways to let mom know you care.
Letting the special people in your life, know you care is what days like Mother’s Day are all about. Think about all the important people in your life, and find ways to celebrate them.
Will you have special plans include your child care provider? Maybe your provider is a mother, also. Or the grandmotherly type who loves to share hugs with your little one. If so, you may have your provider on your list of those to celebrate on Mother's Day.
But did you know the Friday before Mother's Day is a day set aside every year to recognize your child care provider? Provider Appreciation Day is always the Friday before Mother's Day. This year, it is May 7th. The annual day of celebration is designed to recognize child care providers, teachers and all educators of young children. So why not take the time this year to make this day extra special for your child's caregiver?
Here are some ideas adapted from www.providerappreciationday.org:
• Talk with other parents to plan a celebration – decorate your provider's home or the center your child attends; hang posters or signs that draw attention to the special day you are celebrating.
• Send flowers, cards or a handwritten note of appreciation. Better yet, if your child is old enough, have her write the note.
• Bring breakfast or lunch for your provider and for the children, or if the weather cooperates, have a picnic or a barbeque
Work with your child to create a special present.
• Buy a new toy, game or book for your provider's play area.
• Give your provider a paid day off, or a raise or a bonus.
• Order an official Provider Appreciation Day logo item as a gift (at www.providerappreciationday.org).
• Key in on your provider's hobby and buy an appropriate gift.
• Check to see if your employer provides scholarships for toys, equipment or training that you can sponsor as a parent.
• If there are other child care programs in the area, invite them to join the celebration.
Just as your mother would love a handmade special gift to know how appreciated she is, your child care provider will too. Your child care provider is special to both you and your child. Provider Appreciation Day is just one day set aside to recognize the work early childhood professionals do. Make sure to take time throughout the year as well, to let your child care provider know how much you appreciate the work she/he is doing with your child.
Heidi Woodard is a resident of Jamestown, NY. She graduated from Jamestown Community College with honors, and earned an Associates degree in Social Sciences. She also graduated from SUNY Fredonia with highest honors earning a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She is currently employed with the Chautauqua Child Care Council a service of Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc.