Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Brightest and sharpest

I have the privilege of working with some amazing child care providers here in Fargo. The quality rating system for child care providers in the state of North Dakota is called Bright and Early. As part of my job working for Child Care Aware of ND, I get to coach programs who are going through the different steps of Bright and Early. If you want to know the different programs who are participating and what step they are at, check out this super cool interactive map of ND: http://www.brightnd.org/

You might remember my previous post where I mentioned a program that had achieved Step 2 status. I had made each of the teachers a little gift by putting some Reese’s Pieces candy into a little glass jar shaped like a light bulb. Check out that post here: http://erinscraftyendeavors.blogspot.com/2015/10/a-bright-idea.html

This same program has now achieved Step 3!! Woo hoo! I love working with child care programs who go above and beyond for kids! It is so exciting to see how passionate providers are about their jobs and all the hard work they put in during each of these steps to prove that they are the best of the best! 

This time, I wanted to put together a little something that the teachers could use in their classrooms. Since the program is called BRIGHT and early, I figured I would go with something that is bright and colorful. I didn’t want to spend more than $5 or so on each person since there were 8 teachers I was buying for. First, I headed to the local Dollar Tree. There, I found packs of multi-colored sticky notes in bright neon colors. I also found a pack of 4 yellow highlighters. Ten dollars later, I went to Wal-Mart. There, I found a 5 pack of Sharpie markers with fun new bright/bold colors. They were less than $4 each. I bought 8 of them and then headed home. 

I separated out my goodies and began to write out a little thank you note for each one. The note read, “Thanks for being one of the BRIGHTest and SHARPest teachers around! Congrats on achieving Step 3!”

Get it?! Brightest for “Bright and Early” and sharpest for Sharpies. Heehee. I’m so clever. Ok, so, not really, but I had fun with the puns! I separated out the highlighters so each teacher got one and then put together each pack and tied them together with some gold Christmas ribbon. I taped the highlighter to the pack of Sharpies so it wouldn’t slip out of the ribbon. After tying the materials together, I slipped the handwritten note under the ribbon. Ta-da! 

I got to hand deliver them to the director the next day. She loved them and was excited to hand them out to her teachers. This is the first program I have had the honor of coaching through both step 2 and step 3! It’s been so fun seeing them grow and make progress and really embrace change. 

For the teachers and child care providers in your life, this is an easy and fun way to show them you appreciate their hard work every day. Being a child care provider is a tough, exhausting, and often thankless job. I know - I did it for 10 years! Anytime a parent showed appreciation with a small gift or even a grateful "thank you," it was remembered. So, go out TODAY and do something simple and creative (and inexpensive!) to show your child care providers you appreciate them. It will go a long ways in showing them you care. 

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