COLORADO SPRINGS — “It takes a village to raise a child,” so the old adage says. Child Care Provider Appreciation Day is this Friday – a reminder to thank the hard working providers who often take on the role of the entire village.

Provider Appreciation Day was started in 1996 by a group of volunteers in New Jersey, who saw the need to recognize the tireless efforts of providers who care for children of working parents. It is celebrated the Friday before Mother’s Day to honor the caregivers who offer their time, resources, home, and support.

The Pikes Peak Region Family Childcare Association (PPRFCA) is a local organization made up of licensed childcare providers that offers resources for parents and providers. Mary Paul is the secretary of PPRFCA and said not only do providers take on the role of a secondary parent, they also act as teacher, nurse, protector, and emotional support for the kids they care for. “We really become like family,” said Paul.

With Teacher Appreciation Week, National Nurses Day, and Mother’s Day all falling so close together, it is important to remember the child care providers who manage to do all these jobs and more simultaneously.

Child Care Aware of America offers an avenue to recognize the amazing provider in your life by sharing recorded video messages of appreciation, or by filling out a testimonial to the dedication and selflessness you witness every day.

No matter how you choose to show your appreciation on May 6th and every other day, just make sure the child care provider close to your family knows how much their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.