Child Care Worker & Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day is on TUESDAY, Oct. 17th.
This day recognizes the commitment, skills and hard work of all early years professionals.
Child Care Worker & Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day is an opportunity to raise public awareness about early learning and child care and the people who make it possible: early childhood educators and child care workers.
Whether it’s in child care with infants, toddlers and preschoolers, in kindergarten classrooms, in family support settings, before & after school programs, or the many other places early years professionals are present, they play a vital role in creating safe spaces for children to learn, grow and play.
They are essential to the functioning and health of communities. It takes a very special kind of human to work in early childhood education & care. Their dedication, care and passion deserve to be recognized and celebrated on Appreciation Day and beyond.
Our team put together some ideas to help you plan an Appreciation Day celebration for the ECEs and Child Care Workers in your community. As you read them, please remember to choose what works for you and feel free to adapt activities to whatever makes sense for you in your context. Below are some guiding questions you can ask yourself when planning.
Questions to help you choose how to celebrate Appreciation Day
Do we have time and space to carry out our plans?
Do we have enough people to help with set up and clean up?
Do the plans fit our budget? Do they make sense for our team?
Will any of the planned activities negatively impact staff?
Spread the word!
Before Oct. 17th, email a reminder about Child Care Worker & Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day to your centre/school mailing list, including information about how you're planning to observe the day, along with a link to this page. You can also add it to class calendars and daily announcements if applicable. There's more information about Appreciation Day, including this year's poster, on the OCBCC website.
Share on Socials!
Before Oct. 17th: help raise awareness about Child Care Worker & Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day by sharing our content.
On Oct. 17th: write a kind message about an early childhood educator/child care provider you know, or a general message about why you celebrate ECEs & child care workers. Don't forget to tag the AECEO & the OCBCC.
After Oct. 17th: stay connected to the AECEO and the OCBCC to see how you can get involved and support the Worth More! campaign.
Make cards... or print some!
A thoughtful message, paired with original kid artwork, and a few genuine words of appreciation can go a long way! If you're crunched for time, we have printable templates you can use!
Questions to help kids think about what to say on their cards:
What do you love about your educator(s)?
What do you enjoy doing together?
What's your favourite part of the day with them at child care/school?
Is there a special song, game, book, routine you share with them?
Remember to be as specific as possible when asking these to young children. Use people's names and give examples to help contextualize the questions.
Share these resources with families prior to Oct. 17th so they have time to make something special to show appreciation for their educators!
Make an Appreciation Day mural or guest book!
Invite people in your community - families, children, staff - to write or draw a Child Care Worker & Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day message on your mural or guest book. If you have access to wall space, set up a big piece of paper at a key spot in your building where lots of people are going to walk by. If a mural doesn't work in your space, you can use a large blank notebook to set up an Appreciation Day guest book!
Tips for setting up
- Display information about Appreciation Day and clear directions for this activity
- Make sure markers, pens, crayons and stickers are available
- Ask the school-age kids to help decorate the set up/guest book cover! They can be the first ones to write on the mural/book!
If possible, leave the mural/guest book set up for couple of days to give people more time to write something. Save the messages and make them available for staff to read afterwards. If you have time and capacity, you can even make a post-Appreciation Day display on a bulletin board.
Find inspiration for your displays and setups on the AECEO social media!
Beyond recognizing and showing gratitude for early years professionals, Appreciation Day is an opportunity for us to draw attention to the early learning and child care workforce and raise awareness about the issues we’re facing, like the current child care workforce crisis. Right now, it's more important than ever for all of us - operators, on-the-floor staff, families - to stay informed and engage with our Provincial and Federal representatives. We need all levels of government to work together to address the crisis at its root by properly funding compensation. Send a message to your MP, MPP and the Federal and Provincial ministers via the Worth More e-actions.
We hope these ideas and resources are helpful! Spread the word about Appreciation Day and share this page with as many people as possible! Let's help every child care worker and early childhood educator in Ontario feel appreciated on Oct. 17th!
For more tips to celebrate the day, please check out the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care's tip sheet.