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Staff shortages have been hurting childcare providers all over the country. Owners and directors are looking for ways to boost morale and increase staff retention. Showing appreciation for staff members is crucial, especially now. It can be difficult to come up with fun and creative ways to celebrate your employees. A great place to start is asking your staff what they’d like to see or do. You can also reach out to other childcare providers to see what they have done for their staff. Having a collection of ideas will help you show appreciation in the best ways possible.

Here are 11 ways you can show appreciation for your staff at your childcare center, compiled from center owners and directors like you!

1. Contests

Start a contest for your staff members to get them involved and excited. Try a door decorating contest, scavenger hunt, trivia, etc. Get creative! Offer prizes to winners for extra fun.

2. Gift Cards

Have gift cards available to distribute if a staff member is having a hard day or has an exciting win to share. Some great ideas are gift cards for gas, food, and spa days.

3. Theme Days

Make work exciting with some theme days. Try a Motivational Monday, Taco or Tuesday. For more spirit days ideas, check out this list. 

4. Events

5. Point System

Set up a point system at your center! Give points for positive reviews from parents, being on time, and going above and beyond. Set up a prize box so your employees can redeem points for goodies.

6. Have Parents Contribute

Reach out to parents for donations and see if they’d be willing to help set up lunches or events for your staff.

7. Food!

A great and easy way to keep your staff happy is by offering free food and lunches throughout the week.

8. Extended Breaks

Has a staff member been working extra hard? Offer extended paid breaks as a perk for exceptional work.

9. Decorate

Decorate your center with inspiring quotes, staff pictures, staff favorites, and more. Keep the environment fun and welcoming. 

10. Recognition

Recognize your employees when they do something great! Create an employee of the month board complete with fun facts about your staff member.


Kangarootime is the leading all-in-one childcare management software for daycares and preschools. With billing and invoicing capabilities, parent communication and staff management tools, and classroom automation, Kangarootime helps childcare centers grow and scale. To learn more about optimizing your center with Kangarootime, visit kangarootime.com

Marissa Schneggenburger

Author Marissa Schneggenburger

Marissa Schneggenburger is the Marketing Coordinator at Kangarootime and experienced in content marketing. Marissa attended St. John Fisher College and received a B.S. in Marketing with minors in Finance and Spanish. Marissa also completed her MBA in Strategic Marketing from Niagara University. Marissa is passionate about the childcare industry and providing informative and engaging content.

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