National Preschool Teachers Appreciation Day is on March 17 this year. It occurs annually on the third Friday of March. Preschool teachers play a critical role in our children’s lives. Teachers shape and mold the young minds of our future generations and are usually the first contact they have in the education system. They teach students that are between the ages of three and five. This is usually the time children are going through their most formative and critical learning phase. A good preschool teacher can set the bar for the rest of one’s learning journey.
History of National Preschool Teacher Appreciation Day
A preschool is also known as a nursery school, pre-primary school, or playschool. It is an establishment that offers early childhood education to children before they have to start compulsory primary schooling. They can be either privately or publicly operated.
Frenchman Johann Friedrich Oberlin is credited with the introduction of early childhood education. Parents who were working in the fields needed childcare and Oberlin provided this by creating an infant school, for the care and instruction of very small children.
Other educators imitated him and a string of ‘salles d’asile’ (“halls of refuge”) was created. These then changed from private to state-supported institutions and were made a part of the national educational system. After some time their name officially changed to ‘écoles maternelles.’
In Scotland, cotton mill owner Robert Owen opened the first infant school in Great Britain, New Lanark, and it served the children of the workers in his cotton mills. Across the continents, these types of early schooling, which were essentially babysitting or social philanthropy establishments grew with the advancements being made in the systematic theories of early childhood pedagogy.
National Preschool Teacher Appreciation Day timeline
Johann Friedrich Oberlin opens the first ‘salles d’asile' in Waldersbach, France.
James Buchanan establishes England’s first infant school in London.
‘Salles d’asile’ is adopted as part of the national educational system.
Friedrich Froebel opens his first infant school, which he later called a 'Kindergarten,' or “garden for children.”
'Kindergartens’ are founded in leading cities in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United States.
There is a rise in nursery schools and other institutions of preschool education due to scientific interest in early childhood, the recognition of the importance of child guidance and parent education; and the efforts to improve the educational programs of day nurseries.
National Preschool Teacher Appreciation Day FAQs
How do you appreciate a preschool teacher?
Send a thank-you card.
What do you write on a Preschool Teacher Appreciation Day card?
You may write whatever you think would be appropriate to show your gratitude and thankfulness towards your teacher.
Is Teacher Appreciation Day the same every year?
Teacher Appreciation Day is on May 5.
National Preschool Teacher Appreciation Day Activities
Encourage your child to make their preschool teacher a gift
Help your child write a note or make a gift that they can give to their teacher. They’ll surely love it!
Show you appreciation on social media
Post or upload to social media using the hashtags #NationalPreschoolTeacherAppreciationDay. Start an online conversation on this day.
Host a playdate
Host a playdate or surprise party for your preschoolers and invite their teacher to celebrate with you. The more the merrier!
5 Facts About Preschool In The United States
The first preschool was created in 1965
The first publicly funded preschool program called Head Start was created by President Johnson in 1965.
It was a half-day program
Initially, the program consisted of a half-day program and was directed toward children from low-income families.
Enrollment was very low
Initially, enrollment was low and in the 1960s only 10% of the nation's three and four-year-olds were in preschool.
Lack of funding
Due to a large number of people interested, and a lack of funding for Head Start, during the 1980s a handful of states started their version of a program for students from low-income families.
Increase in enrollment rates
By 2005, 69% of, or over 800,000, four-year-old children participated in a preschool program.
Why We Love National Preschool Teacher Appreciation Day
Teachers are indispensable
Teaching is a very important profession and we love honoring the job they do. See what you can do on this day to show your appreciation.
It is a time to give back
Teachers spend hours with our children every day. It is wonderful to gift them for their work.
It teaches our children gratitude and appreciation
The day allows us to teach our children about the importance of their teachers and to thank them for all that they do. Ensure your children know about the hard work that goes into providing an education.
National Preschool Teacher Appreciation Day dates