BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
Gifts & Bonuses for Daycare Providers
Berkeley Parents Network >
Gifts & Bonuses for Daycare Providers
I know I'm planning early, but what is the norm for holiday
gifts for daycare providers? Specifically, my 1 year old
son attends an awesome small, in home day care 3 days a week.
thinking about december
I had the same question last year as it was my first
experience. We ended up giving the leader of the daycare
$100 and the assistant $50. They were extremely, extremely
grateful. This year I'd like to get it together to make
each one something nice, a knitted scarf or a banner for
the daycare space. Somthing a little more personal to show
my appreciation for all they do for my daughter and our
Last year I couldn't get it together to get a gift, and we
ended up giving our wonderful day care provider $100. I
felt bad that it was so impersonal, but didn't want to end
up doing nothing because, with an infant and working full
time, I didn't have time to get a gift, and I wasn't sure
what kind of gift card would be useful. She was extremely
appreciative. So this year I plan to get a gift AND STILL
the $100. Do the math - helps her holidays. There is
only one person at my daycare, but if there were an
assistant I would plan to give some smaller amount.
Happy with my DCP
Is it customary around the winter holidays to give a bonus to
out-of-home child daycare providers? We know nannies often get
a holiday bonus, but what about small family daycares? If a
bonus is customary, is cash best or gifts? If cash, how much?
Our caregivers are obviously better off than we are, but we
really appreciate everything about what they do for us and our
family, and we are not stingy. Happy to say thank you with a
holiday bonus or gift, but also do not want to be
inappropriate. What do others do?
I have been a child care provider for almost twenty years and yes, we do do it
because we love our work,certainly not to make money. I am a single parent
with three kids myself (one in college, two in high school) and am always
struggling to make ends meet. Important things like health insurance are very
expensive for the self-employed. So yes, please show your appreciation, it's
the thought that counts. I have received between $20 to $300 in cash, cash is
always the most helpful; I usually use it to treat my family to eating out, as
we can never afford to on our own. Other favorites of mine are movie tickets
(again we normally can't afford to go and see a movie). A gift certificate
for a massage would be great too - I suffer from neck and shoulder problems
from lifting children for so many years. Of course, a note or letter saying
how you feel about your provider is wonderful too, we know we're doing a great
job,but it's nice to hear the parents acknowledge it.
A child care provider
Our child is in a small home-based daycare on a part time
schedule, a couple of days a week. The daycare will be closed for
2 weeks over the holidays and they would like us to pay them our
regular rate for the weeks they are closed.
My question is, should I give the daycare provider something in
addition to the 2 week vacation pay? I'm extremely happy with
them but times are a little tight financially for us and I don't
want to over-do it or under-do it. I do want to make sure that
they feel appreciated - because they are!
Oh the holidays!
We wrestled with this question, too, for our full-time daycare
and decided to give as generous a gift as financially possible.
For us, the teachers are fill-in parents to our kid each week and
enable us to go out and work and provide for our family. You
can't put a price on that. They have a hard job that doesn't get
the recognition it deserves. They work for low wages. They
deserve the gift more than say, my mom, who doesn't need another
cashmere sweater. We are saving elsewhere in our holiday budget
so we can give a decent bonus to daycare. I can't suggest a
certain gift size, but I'd encourage you to err on the generous
side (in proportion to your financial situation) and not worry
about what other parents are doing. Above all, a thoughtful,
thank-you card costs just a few bucks but will mean a lot to your
provider. Go with your gut, your intentions are good.
I think holiday gifts are optional, and a nice note about how
much you appreciate them in your child's life and maybe a quote
from your child and/ or drawing can be enough. However I would
not consider 2 weeks vacation pay as your gift to them; this
was standard practice when my kids (now 7 and 10) were in home
daycare and I'm guessing it is in a contract agreed upon when
the child enrolled at the school. (If indeed you have not
previously agreed to holiday tuition and it is a sudden
request, then that would seem to me an excessive holiday
present even to someone so important to your family.)
I'm a family childcare provider, so I appreciate your question.
Don't think about the vacation time when considering a gift.
Chances are you pay her monthly based on a weekly rate, based on
a 4 week month, so you are really only paying her for 48 weeks
over a 52 week period. That might make thinking about her
vacation time easier. Also, if she's like me, she makes about
$20,000 per year and works well over 40 hours per week (and I am
on the higher end of pricing!)
That said, if you can't afford a gift, do give her a card or
another small token. I've had families give me hugely expensive
gifts, which are great, but I've also had families give me
thoughtful notes about how much they appreciate the care and love
I give their child. Sometimes people will bake something, always
a winner! If your provider has a child too, offer to babysit
(that's a HUGE one for me!)The usual small gifts are great too:
bookstore gift certificates, a Trader Joe's gift card, something
personal for the provider, that sort of thing. good luck!
a lucky childcare provider
Our daycare closes for several days at the holiday time and for
two weeks in August. These are ''paid vacation'' just like most
of us get at work...not ''presents''
If you want to get them a present, then I am sure it would be
appreciated. This is our third holiday with our home daycare
team (2nd child there). I have gotten gift certificates each
time...first for an excellent local restaurant ($100 each) and
then next year for Nordstrom's ($75 each for the full time and
$40 for the part timer who started that year). I think I am on
the high end of gifts as they always seem REALLY thankful.
This year there is a parent trying to arrange a group gift.
She asked everyone for $40...$20 for the lead person and $10
each for the other full time and the part time. I donated to
be part of the group, but will likely do something in addition
as to me this is just too low for someone who takes full time
excellent care of my child.
Again, I am probably on the high end...but I figure when I am
paying nearly $1000/mo in care that that isn't really that
much. BTW: this is in regular old Oakland...not a fancy
Piedmont or ''other side of the tunnel'' place.
At our pre-school, pretty much all of the parents donated $50-
100 for gifts...and we are buying what I consider HUGE gifts
for the teachers (spending $225 on part time and $400 on full
time)...but if each parent gave like I give for the
daycare...it would be even bigger...
Can't wait to hear what others say as this isn't really a
question to be discussed openly...
As confused as everyone else
Our daughter is in a wonderful home daycare, and I'm wondering
how people typically show thanks to their daycare caregivers (who
are the owners of the daycare) during the holidays. Cash (if so,
what are the typical ranges)? Gifts? Any advice would be much
Last year the families in our daycare gave a group gift to our
daycare provider and her assistant. We will do this again this
year. Everyone can still contribute whatever amount they want
and your providers get really nice gifts. We gave gift
certificates - restuarant, spa and fabric store. Hope this
helps. Happy Holidays!
I give one week's pay in cash.
We did give our daycare provider some small thoughtful gifts
for Christmas. Things that I knew she would like because of
comments she had made. We spent less than $30 on her, but she
loved what we gave her. It's the thought that counts. We had
also at times pooled money from several families and bought her
a spa gift card. Just a couple of ideas...
We adored our daycare provider. My girls went to her for two
years from babyhood till they started preschool. We gave her a
gift basket with homemade cookies and an ornament. I don't
remember if we did a gift card the first year but when we moved
on we gave her a similar basket and a gift card to a family
- cheers for the daycare providers
when my boys were at a home daycare, one year i gave the owners a
gift certificate to peet's ''coffee-of-the-month'' delivery
program. they were able to enjoy a different coffee each month
for 6 months and they truly enjoyed it and it wasn't too much
money. the owner thanked me for at least a year afterwards, so i
know she really appreciated it.
I generally spend $20/caregiver at my daughter's preschool.
There are 4 teachers. I know a teacher friend who says she
prefers gift certificates over ''things'' which she has received
many of over the years. So last year, I gift certificated them
each $20 to the local coffee shop/cafe where they often take
their breaks. Movie tickets, a gift certificate to a restaurant
they may enjoy, a nordstrom gift certificate all ideas.
Caregivers deserve such tokens
My daughter goes to a family childcare center, a few days a
week. A husband and wife team run the center out of their
home. I'm wondering what's appropriate to give in terms of a
Christmas ''bonus'' or gift. Is that typically done? If so,
what should I give the daycare provider? Money? How much?
Something else? Any ideas are appreciated
Daycare providers do not earn a whole lot of income, so money is the
most appreciated gift. I know, because I was a teacher in one and I have
a friend who owns one. Often, we can not afford things which many we
serve take for granted, like health insurance. So, any amount that you
can afford without straining your budget is appreciated, even $20
enclosed in a card with kind words of appreciation.
My daughter went to a family daycare for two years and we always
exchanged gifts, both with the provider and the other kids there (there
were only three others). My husband was not comfortable giving just
money, so I gave the provider a bottle of wine and a check for one
week's worth of service. For the other kids, I gave a small toy, approx
$5 each anon
What have others done for their kids daycare providers for a holiday gift/
bonus. Both my children attend a small home daycare, do we get a gift
(suggestions?) or give her a bonus (how much?)? I checked the
archives and there was advice on nannies but I couldn't find any on
daycare providers. thanks..
I gave my daycare provider a gift certificate for a massage one year, and
for a brunch at a nice restaurant another year. She loved them both.
As a mom of two and former preschool teacher, I suggest that the
safest ''gift'' is a card written from your heart telling each
teacher why you value her (or his) contribution to your family
and society, and what she (or he) means to your child. Material
gifts may be appreciated but unless you know the teacher well it
is hard to be certain what would be welcome. In this hurried
society, I think a hand written note expressing appreciation for
the teacher's life work is of more value than most objects. If
your child is old enough to help decorate it or dictate part of
it, all the better.
I'm not a big fan of giving money, and there several women that
share in the day care duties. Instead, last year I bought some
art supplies for the day care center, since they were always
making things, but I'm sure any supplies would be welcome
(books, puzzles, toys) and a tree ornament for each provider at
the day care center. If you know that your providers don't
decorate trees, you could give some other holiday gift or some
We also have a small in home family daycare provider. I found
that they are big Blockbuster rental fans on the weekends so
last year we gave a 6 month subscription to Netflix. They
My son will soon be leaving his home-based daycare to start at a
preschool. He has been very happy there almost one year and a
half. I would like to give the owner/caregiver a thank you gift,
but I don't know what would be appropriate. I can only spend
between 30$ and 50$ at the most. Any ideas about what would be
appreciated and show our gratitude for the love and care he has
When my wonderful daycare lady retired, I got her one of those
large regional cookbooks with the gorgeous photos - they're
really more coffee table books than cookbooks. She loved Santa
Fe and New Mexico, so this fit in with both her home decor and
her personal interest. These books are often sold at Costco,
and cover a lot of different countries/regions. Just an idea
Loved my daycare lady
Gift certificates are the best gifts for teachers. They may
seem less personal, but they needn't be. If you know something
of her interests, you can get something that fits them, but
still allows her to get something she wants. I have had a great
response to giving Elephant Pharmacy gift certificates to
teachers, co-workers, etc. One teacher turned out, unb! enownst
to me, to be into Ikebana flower arranging, and bought flowers
there and loved the gift. She said the flowers were very good
quality/price. Another friend bought candles and some
meditation music on cd. It's great for the health conscious or
But it could be from a sports store, craft store like
Michael's, or almost anywhere.
As much as I try to avoid giant stores, I have found that gift
cards to Target and Blockbuster have been extremely well
recieved by day care staff, teachers, and teachers aides.
My mom, a retired elementary teacher, says that the best gifts
she got were letters and cards expressing the students' and
parents' appreciation for the work they did, what they learned,
how they were influenced for the better, etc. Not that she didn't
like See's candy and so forth, but these personal recollections
were more precious than material goods.
Hey, I'm a preschool teacher myself and I can tell you that
one of the best gifts I receive are gift certificates to
bookstores. That way, I can buy books for school or splurge
and buy something for myself.
What about a gift certificate for some kind of ''self-care'' service
at a nice restaurant, a massage, a manicure if she keeps her hands
nice, etc.)? The thought being give her a gift that ''takes care of
return for all her care for your child?
this page was last updated: Oct 31, 2012
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network