To all the early childhood educators I have ever known, you should know that you’ve changed my life.
Thank you for your warmth and energy, infectious not just to the kids you’re helping to raise but to their often weary parents too.
Thank you for taking the time to truly connect with my son; to know his quirks and little mannerisms that help him feel at home.
Thank you for emanating love. For taking him by the hand when you can see he’s feeling a bit anxious and expertly distracting him with books and toys.
Thank you for cuddling him and soothing him like he was your own family when he’s feeling out of sorts.
Thank you for relieving my almost paralysing ‘mum guilt’ by showing me he’s in a place he loves and thrives in.
Thank you for showing him the world in his own backyard; for broadening his mind to take notice of the simple joys in life: A bug on a leaf, a bright flower, a fluffy cloud.
Thank you for taking delight in his growth– his new words, interests and abilities.
Thank you for having the patience to paint with him. To read books. To learn instruments. To play in sand. To build castles.
Thank you for making him a kinder person; for demonstrating right from wrong and why it’s important.
Thank you for your infinite patience; for never losing your cool amid a sea of teething, tired babies who allow no time for a break. (I wish you could teach me how to do this).
Thank you for turning up day in and out, during a period of high uncertainty in which you and your brilliant colleagues have not been protected or remunerated in the way you deserve. (For the record, I’m not alone in thinking you all deserve the biggest pay-check and double the holiday).
Thank you for unflinchingly working in an environment where you’re far more likely to pick up colds, flus and gastro while the rest of us whinge about small tension headaches.
Thank you for the daily updates on my baby’s progress; for taking sweet pictures and recording his days when I’m not there. You’ll never know how much joy these bring me and my partner during bad work days.
Thank you for your unwavering dedication in creating a future generation of adults who will do better than the last.
You are exceptional– each and every one of you.
You’re not told enough how much of a difference you make to the families you support. Nor how much your service and passion helps our society and economy thrive. You’re not told enough how much you’re needed and you’re far too often taken for granted.
But on this day, your day, I want to take the time to tell you. Please know that you changed my life by making my son’s life so much richer.