Today is national childcare Provider Appreciation Day®. As the Director of the Early Childhood Alliance, I see the impact that providers can and do have in our community. But, without more support, they cannot keep doing the incredible work that they do every day.
Please join me in showing our appreciation for our wonderful providers including: Alpine Adventures, Black Diamond, Creekside Kids, Deer Valley Child Care, Evan’s Day Care, Heaven’s Little Angels, Little Adventures Children’s Center @ Canyons, Lil Oaklies Childcare, Little Miners Montessori, Holy Cross Ministries, Park City Cooperative Preschool, Park City Kids Camp, Park City Recreation Summer Day Camp, PC Tots, Peck’s Playschool, PEEK Program, local private, public and charter school preschool and after-care programs, Soaring Wings International Montessori School, Stepping Stone Academy, Wildlings Mountain Camp, and Wildstar.
In our community, like so many across the country, grim trends in childcare have only gotten worse since the pandemic began. Program costs have increased, while waiting lists continue to get longer. Childcare centers are losing workers and often closing their doors because they cannot compete with the rising wages and benefits offered by large corporations. There are 50,000 fewer childcare providers across the nation than before the pandemic. Short-staffed childcare centers are closing, despite increasing demand from families.
Voters largely support increased funding for child care. Both women overall and strong Republican-leaning voters say they’d be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports investing in childcare to make it more accessible and more affordable. That includes increasing compensation for early childhood educators.
The earliest years are critical – they lay the foundation for the brain and body architecture that will support a child’s ability to learn, and for lifelong social, emotional and physical health. This Provider Appreciation Day®, let’s show our gratitude for those who support the social, emotional and physical care of our youngest children. Childcare providers are essential – and they have been long before the pandemic.
It is so important that our policymakers commit to increasing compensation for the folks who care for and educate our children, who are currently some of the lowest paid but most heavily relied upon professionals in our workforce. America’s early learning system, which was already failing to meet the needs of families and providers before the pandemic, is currently propped up by funds that are set to expire soon.
Join us in celebrating Provider Appreciation Day® by committing to better fund the child care workforce and finally treating providers like the professionals they are. It’s the absolute least we can do.