How to Appreciate your Childcare Provider
Christmas has just passed and it was a wonderfully blessed one for me. I have wonderful daycare families! I had asked a question on a couple of daycare Facebook groups I’m in and I was astounded at the variety of answers about what parents do for their providers. The sad part of my inquiry was how crushed some of the providers were about how their parents chose not to acknowledge them at all.
I have received some amazingly thoughtful and heart felt gifts. All of my parents take the time to show and tell me how much they appreciate me throughout the year. I KNOW they do. Does your provider know?
Do you know what the honest truth is? I don’t really care about gifts. People do not have to give me something to make me feel special. Just telling me and showing me they care is all I need. I appreciate what people do give me, because I know they put thought into it. They thought about me and wanted to bless me. That’s what matters to me. I love what my families have written in cards.
Do you appreciate your childcare provider?
They don’t have to write it. They can just say it. I love that too. Every single one of my parents takes the time to tell me at one time or another that they think I’m great and they appreciate what I’m doing for their baby. That makes me one happy woman. It also makes me want to learn more and be even better so I can reach my full potential. People will always do more than what’s expected if they feel their efforts are appreciated! Click here to see how people’s notes and comments have changed my life.
Did you know that appreciating someone makes them work twice as hard? It does. It’s a crying shame for anyone to be working somewhere and that entity not appreciate them. My husband has worked at his job over 8 years and has never been told I appreciate you by any of his bosses ever! He works hard! He deserves to be told thanks at least once in 8 years. He has a manager, an assistant director and a director over him. Someone should be saying something. It’s a good thing he works for the glory of God and not man, isn’t it? He’d for sure not be giving his best anymore by now.
I am well aware that times are tight and money is not always easy to come by. Guess what? Your childcare provider puts their whole heart into your precious angels and loves them with all of her heart. She puts her family, her home, her mind, her body, and her spirit into what she’s doing, and she deserves to be recognized. Money is tight for her too. Make sure you’re paying her on time so she can pay her bills.
What is an appropriate gift? According to etiquette guidelines “Matching one week/session is considered the “norm.” If your recipient provides service weekly, give the equivalent of one week’s pay. Of course, that may not be practical or possible in many cases (such as someone who uses a nanny at $300 each week), but be as generous and thoughtful as your family budget can afford.”
I know that Christmas puts so many demands on us, and this is not always possible. What you give depends on your personal budget as well. Honestly, where I live, I would never expect this and have very seldom ever received it. But guess what? I still KNOW I’m appreciated. Give your provider the best you can afford to give them.
When I asked daycare providers what the most special thing any family had done for them was, these were some of their answers:
- My parents got together and paid for the rest of the daycare room remodel I was doing as I had funds for it.
- My favorite coffee from Starbucks in the morning.
- My parents got together and bought me a new dryer because mine went out.
- I had a parent give me tickets to a concert.
- I had a parent give me a pampering basket.
- A Sonic drink surprise on the porch.
- I got a bottle of wine with a child’s picture on it that said, because I’m the reason you drink.
- I got gift cards from each of my parents.
- I had a family give me $500.
- My favorite gift is a card with a heartfelt message and a picture the kids drew.
- When I was a young single mom and provider years ago, a grandmother came over and showed me how to fix my loose door knob and a few other broken things around my house and she gave me the tools so I could do it for myself.
There were all kinds of answers of big things parents had done in the past.
There were also answers like:
- I watch 12 kids and I got nothing, from any family in the bunch.
- One provider said a parent gave her a gift that had a toy for the daycare kids to use at her house and a snack, she said, oh thanks for the snack and they said, I thought your husband would like that. So…you gave me a gift for your kids and for my husband? It seems like the thoughtfulness for the provider was left out. Just because your provider is a giving person, doesn’t mean she doesn’t want you to care about her.
- A parent brought me a coffee mug with candy in it a week after Christmas and they know I can’t have sugar.
- Out of 8 kids, I got one gift.
- One provider even received a gift from all of her daycare families except one. When that child was picked up before Christmas, she told the Mom Merry Christmas and the mom gave her a dirty look and said, oh, Merry Christmas in a hateful way, like it was too hard for her to even wish her a Merry Christmas. That’s a great way to show you care about someone, isn’t it?
Many providers talked about how hurt they were that no one even thought of them.
How sad is that? What would happen if your provider didn’t care enough about you to try her hardest to be reliable for you and you weren’t able to go to work every day because she didn’t care about that? What would happen if your child was not treated well or noticed because your provider didn’t want to put the effort in to take good care of them?
How would it feel if you went to work and had to beg every week for your paycheck? How would it feel if on Christmas instead of receiving your bonus from work or being told Merry Christmas, that your boss yelled at you and gave you a dirty look? You like being appreciated, don’t you?
Guess what the big secret is about your provider? She doesn’t care how expensive the gift was, she loves and cares about you and your kids! Do you know what she’s really love? For you to just think about her.
- She’d love to get a big hug and a Merry Christmas and thanks for all you do.
- She’d love a card that your child drew a picture in that said how much you appreciate her.
- She’d love for you to say, it means a lot to us that you care for our family.
- She just wants to be recognized.
The worst thing you can do is nothing.
What are some ways you can show your provider you appreciate her?
- Ask her some questions and keep the answers on hand so you KNOW what she likes. It could be things like; what is your birthday, what is your favorite color, what is your favorite snack, what is your favorite drink, what is your favorite donut, do you have any food allergies, what is your favorite hobby, what is your favorite thing to do when you go out, etc. This way, you can check the list at the times when you are wanting to do something nice for her.
- Make a point to tell her a couple of times a year in a card, a text, an email, or even Facebook what she means to you. If you don’t think she’s doing her best and she loves your baby, you should try to find a provider who does. If you know she does, SHOW HER!
- Saying thank you is good manners. You should thank her for her service. Being kind is free. Showing appreciation doesn’t cost anything. It just takes a minute and little bit of effort to show love to someone. Your provider works super hard for a not very lucrative lifestyle. You may think childcare is expensive, and it is a big part of your income, but there are so many expenses involved in providing care that your provider is earning far less than minimum wage once she buys your baby’s food and supplies to care for them. She does it because she LOVES! She loves kids, she loves helping people, and she loves making a difference.
- Have your child draw her something and give it to her and tell her they love her.
- Provider Appreciation Day is the Friday before Mother’s Day in May every year, surprise her with something then.
- Give her a Valentine when you bring valentines for all the kids. It will make her smile.
- Remember her birthday and be sure to tell her Happy Birthday.
- Look her in the eye and tell her you appreciate her.
- Think about your provider first when you are cleaning out old toys from your kid’s room to make room for Christmas. She would appreciate some new things for the kids because that’s a big expense for her and the kids break a lot of her toys. It would be great to have replacements for free. I love when people call and ask me if I want something their kids are too old for! Make sure you call her first though, she may not need any toys at the time.
- Make or have your kids make something for her like her favorite cookies or a homemade ornament for her Christmas tree. Ornaments my kids make are some of my very favorite gifts!
- Don’t complain when she takes time off. She NEEDS time of to recharge and be a great provider! Why not tell her to have a great vacation instead of giving her grief about it?
I have the most wonderful parents in my daycare and there is no question that every single one of them loves and appreciates me. It makes me want to give my all. They have all let me know in their own ways that what I do matters to them. Make sure you do that for your provider and you’ll make sure your child is getting even better care than before. When people feel appreciated, they do a whole lot more!
Love a childcare provider today! We are changing the future!
Don’t forget to pin for later!