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National Preschool Teacher Appreciation Day – March 17, 2023

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

1767
Salles D’asile

Johann Friedrich Oberlin opens the first ‘salles d’asile' in Waldersbach, France.

1818
London

James Buchanan establishes England’s first infant school in London.

1833
National Educational System

‘Salles d’asile’ is adopted as part of the national educational system.

1837
Kindergarten

Friedrich Froebel opens his first infant school, which he later called a 'Kindergarten,' or “garden for children.”

1852
Kindergartens Become Popular

'Kindergartens’ are founded in leading cities in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United States.

20th Century
Rise in Nursery Schools

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

  1. 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!

  2. Show you appreciation on social media

    Post or upload to social media using the hashtags #NationalPreschoolTeacherAppreciationDay. Start an online conversation on this day.

  3. 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

  1. The first preschool was created in 1965

    The first publicly funded preschool program called Head Start was created by President Johnson in 1965.

  2. It was a half-day program

    Initially, the program consisted of a half-day program and was directed toward children from low-income families.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  1. 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.

  2. It is a time to give back

    Teachers spend hours with our children every day. It is wonderful to gift them for their work.

  3. 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

YearDateDay
2022March 18Friday
2023March 17Friday
2024March 15Friday
2025March 21Friday
2026March 20Friday

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