Child Care Work Force Appreciation Day event draws about 30 people to new Becker County Museum

The inaugural event allowed child care providers from around Becker County to play with the museum's new interactive exhibits, enjoy a free taco bar, and more.

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The Becker County Museum's new augmented reality game board was a big hit with the child care providers who attended an appreciation event held at the museum on Monday, April 3, 2023.
Vicki Gerdes / Detroit Lakes Tribune

DETROIT LAKES — In keeping with Child Care Aware of America and other organizations nationwide designating April 3 as Child Care Workforce Appreciation Day, the Becker County Museum hosted the inaugural "Child Care Workforce Appreciation Event" this past Monday.

The event, which was co-hosted by the Becker County Early Childhood Initiative, West Central Initiative, Child Care Aware, Becker County Childcare Licensing, Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the city of Detroit Lakes, included a free taco bar, self-care activities, a STEAM "take and make" station, and an opportunity for the 35 or so child care providers who showed up for the event to explore all of the interactive exhibits in the museum's science center, which just opened to the public for regular hours last month.

The child care providers, who usually have to supervise their charges' exploration of such activities, had a chance to play with the museum's large black "Pixel Pegs" board (think giant "Lite Brite"), augmented reality sandbox and game board, just to name a few.

A brief program was also held, with Detroit Lakes Mayor Matt Brenk making an official proclamation.

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Mayor Matt Brenk declared Monday, April 3, 2023, as "Child Care Workforce Appreciation Day" in Detroit Lakes, as part of a child care worker appreciation event held Monday night at the Becker County Museum.
Vicki Gerdes / Detroit Lakes Tribune

"Whereas, over half the children under the age of six, nationwide, are estimated to spend some time in a non-parental care arrangement on a weekly basis, which provides critical enrichment opportunities and nurtures development for children of all backgrounds, and is a vital building block of our state economy, and whereas the COVID-19 pandemic has created tremendous hardship for child care providers and the families of Detroit Lakes who depend on them ... I, Matt Brenk, Mayor of the city of Detroit Lakes, hereby proclaim April 3, 2023, as Child Care Work Force Day in Detroit Lakes," Brenk said, reading from a prepared statement.


Becker County currently has "57 licensed family care programs, nine (child care) center programs, and four certified (child care) centers," according to the proclamation.

A reporter at Detroit Lakes Newspapers since relocating to the community in October 2000, Vicki was promoted to Community News Lead for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and Perham Focus on Jan. 1, 2022. She has covered pretty much every "beat" that a reporter can be assigned, from county board and city council to entertainment, crime and even sports. Born and raised in Madelia, Minnesota, she is a graduate of Hamline University, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in English literature (writing concentration). You can reach her at
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