May 10 was Provider Appreciation Day, a special day to recognize child-care providers, school-age program staff, child-care center directors and staff, and all those who work with children and are responsible for their education and care. It is estimated that nearly 11 million children under age 5 are cared for by 2.8 million child care providers in the United States.
Every day, over 600 child-care providers in Jefferson and Lewis counties plan and deliver registered and licensed care for our children. Many more provide Army Child and Youth Services-regulated on-post care on Fort Drum. Both children and parents depend on our child-care providers.
By recognizing the dedication of child care providers on May 10, we remind our communities of the importance of quality child care and let providers everywhere know that we recognize and value their important work, said Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., executive director of Child Care AwareŽ of America, the host organization of Provider Appreciation Day. Ninety percent of brain development occurs during the first five years of life. Providing quality care for our children – especially during this critical time – will help ensure their future success.
It takes a special person to work in the child-care field, and these individuals are often unrecognized, and under-valued. We at Jefferson-Lewis Childcare Project, a program of Community Action Planning Council, are proud to be associated with these dedicated people and to support their work. Partnering with parents, community members, and advocates for high-quality care we say, Thank you for using your passion and skill to build a stronger future for our children!
The writer is the director of Jefferson-Lewis Childcare Project, Community Action Planning Council.