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Nanny Bonuses, Gifts, Severence Pay

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Parting gift for nanny

Sept 2012

We are parting ways with our beloved nanny of 3 years and are at a loss for how to express our gratitude. I plan to write her a nice letter but would also like to get her some sort of gift. But, what kind of gift do you give someone who has helped raise your child?? Would love some tips from other folks who have gone through this process. Thanks! Kat

We gave our nanny cash and a small photo book with pictures of our child throughout the time she cared for him. anon
Lots of cash (not a check) and a very thoughtful card with a small framed photo of your child with her. Anon
Our nanny has been with us over 7 years and just left since our youngest just started daycare. As a goodbye gift we gave her some money and I created a Shutterfly book with our children and her over the past 7 years. She loved it! Jessica
Hi Kat - We gave our nanny of 3 years a book of photos (we used our iPhoto on our Mac, but there are a number of self-publishing photo book options like Snapfish or Blurb and many others) along with text. We inscribed it with what you'd likely want to put in the letter you mentioned, and then we filled it of pictures of her with our child. She loved it. It's a sentimental gift, plus a good ''portfolio'' for her to show to prospective families. We even asked her to take some photos towards the end of her term of service, not telling her what they were for, but just to have documentation of all the places she took our son. photo mom
My nanny greatly appreciated severance pay of one week's pay per year worked ! She's still my close friend.
We've had a couple changes in nannies over the years, as well as their birthdays, Christmases, etc... We have always had rather young nannies who were saving up money for all sorts of things and often did not have too big of a budget to spend on unnecessarities. While my husband has always argued for giving money, I have always found that too impersonal, and have preferred to find a gift that reminds them that they have a life outside of taking care of our kids while trying to give something that they might long for but would not buy for themselves (we usually end up doing a mix of both, money AND gift). Favorites are Marc Jacobs bags (clutches I should say), Leigh & Luca scarves, Creed perfume, or beautiful jewelry from Pimlico Place on Piedmont Ave in Oakland. So far, we've had no complaints Have Fun Shopping
Sept 2005

It is time for us to say a fond farewell to our nanny, who currently cares for our daughter with another child three days per week. Our daughter is starting preschool in the fall and it is an amiable parting. We want to give her a goodbye gift, and her husband suggested a gift certificate for the Gap. I am wondering if other people give parting gifts to nannies (we like her a lot), what they give (cash or gifts?) and for about how much. Thanks for the advice

When our nanny left our employ we gave her a cash bonus (I think equivalent to 1/2 mos. pay but I honestly can't remember - it's been a while) and a gorgeous bouquet of flowers in a vase. I felt money would be most useful to her, to spend as she chose, but I wanted her to also have a traditional gift that let her know how much we cherished her. Amy
Nov 2004

My family is moving out of state so we will be leaving our nanny- share situation. We have been using our nanny for the past 16 months and my daughter truly loves her. She is amazing with my daughter and the other little boy whom we share her with. Obviously I am feeling sad and somewhat guilty over taking my 18- month old daughter away from a situation in which she is completely thriving in, but our decision to move is based on many factors (mostly to be closer to grandparents). I want to get our nanny a gift or do something special for her to show our appreciation. English is not her first language, so I don't know how much she understands when I verbalize to her how much she means to us. Any suggestions on a meaningful gift? I know she probably mostly needs money, so maybe that would be best, but to me it seems inpersonal. Also, should I do some kind of farewell dinner, or just pick her up on the final day and say good-bye? Finally, Is there someway to prepare my daughter for this major change in her life? She is losing her nanny (who she often asks for by name), her best friend (the little boy whom we share with), moving out of her home to a new and unfamiliar place, and getting a new sibling all within a few months. I appreciate any responses. felicia

When we moved away from our nanny of 4 years, I made a photo album for her and gave her a pair of earrings. I invited her over to say good-bye and we gave her the gifts, drawings, hugs and tears. It is very hard to say good-bye and to make a big change. Like all changes, you and your little will be sad and then it will get better with time. Good luck! becky
I think you can do something that is very personal that is not expensive, like give your nanny a framed picture of her and your daughter, or a framed piece of art that your daughter made, or a typed list of all the nice things your daughter has said about her over the years, or some sort of corny thing where you spell out your nanny's name and for each letter you make a word that describes how you value her/her character. And then when you give her the personal item you also give your nanny *cash*. I really do believe that most nannies would much prefer cash to expensive gifts of another type. I know friends who got their nanny a day pass and massage at the Claremont and the nanny was so bummed. She would have much rather had the $200 to spend on her family, or herself, in a way that she could choose. Another gift is to carefully write your nanny a strong formal recommendation letter that she can take with her on job interviews in the future (even if she has already set up her next job, she can still use it in the future), and make yourself super available as a reference. Give the gift that keeps on giving...

Gift for nanny under $100

Dec 2007

This is the second Christmas with our daughter and the first with her nanny. I am wanting to give the nanny something for Christmas, but have no idea what.

Gifts are so culturally driven. If she had kids, I would get her something related to them, but she doesn't. It's just her and her husband. They are recent immigrants from Central America, and they both work in service type of jobs. In lieu of vacation, our nanny has always preferred money instead of time off. She works 5 or 6 days a week and is always interested in getting extra shifts from us or her other employers. (We have her only part-time.)

Ideally, I would give her money, but our budget for this is about $100, which doesn't seem like much. I thought about getting her an English language tape course, but I thought she might find that insulting. She was taking English classes at night, though, and recently had to quit, so maybe she would appreciate it??

For our daughter's (first) birthday, she gave us a few very cute outfits, a balloon, etc. It was very special and unexpected. I would like to give her and her family something that resonates with them, that shows our appreciation for the caring she gives our daughter, etc. Any good thoughts out there? Mom on Hayward Fault

Give her the $100. I doubt she will buy English language tapes with it. She is special to your family, but she is an employee and you are in a business relationship with her. Also, it should be a year-end bonus as opposed to a holiday gift (this way you avoid the cultural issues you mentioned). Anon
From what you've told us about your nanny, I would definitely go with the $100 in cash. It seems pretty clear that what she needs most is the extra money. How could she not appreciate $100? You could also get her something small and more personal to go with it. anon
Please give your nanny the $100. She is working extra a hours and asking for extra shifts because childcare does not pay well, and Spanish-speaking immigrant women are not seen as valuable, skilled, talented workers. Do not buy her the language course. She would much rather have the money. Please.
Give her the $100. It is ''enough.'' Heck, I make six figures and would be DELIGHTED if my employer gave me $100 for Christmas. anon
i always heard nannies are supposed to get a bonus of 1 to 2 weeks' pay for the holidays. i definitely think you should give her the cash rather than trying to come up with a gift that she may not want, which would be a total waste of money. i don't know how things are done here, but her caregiver-friends may have conditioned her to expect a big bonus, and she may be quite surprised.
I worked as a nanny for several years, now just date nights. I got between 1-2 weeks salary as a bonus for Christmas and birthdays. Now that I just work date nights, my family gave me 3x what I make for the one night I work. I know you say money is tight, but I count on that money (build it into my budget) and even though I love the kids, if the family did not give me the bonus, I probably would have started looking elsewhere. Good luck, but please understand that money is tight on the other end too. nanny
I think you have your answer. Cashola. Even if it is only $100, that is a lot better than a $100 gift she doesn't need. I would stay away from English tapes or any kind of gift card, which is basically deciding how to spend her money for her. anon
As a former nanny and as you describe it, she will be more grateful to get a Grocery store gift card. with a nice box a cookies. or a Mall gift card rather a store gift card, so she can pick the store she likes best. Happy Holidays to you too!
We have tried to give the equivalent of one week's salary and a small gift to our nanny each year. She too is from Central America and while she appreciates little gifts, she also is supporting a lot of family back home and cash is really a big deal.

You say you don't have much cash to give. I am sure anything would be appreciated. If it just doesn't feel like enough, give cash and something else. English tapes are not a bad idea if you know she has wanted to learn, but perhaps also something that is just purely about the holidays, or about her. A basket of cookies? A gift card for Target? One year, we got a free used computer, refurbished it, and gave it to our nanny with money for 6 months of internet. Love our nanny too!

The English Tape thing is not cool...or very festive. Give her a small personal token (nice lotion etc.) and the $100 that you have in your ''budget.'' She'll appreciate the money. Maybe that isn't a lot to you, but i'm sure for her, it is. peace
It's very thoughtful of you to think of her this holiday season. Give her cash. It's probably what her and her husband need most and it allows them to buy what they need or save up for something they really want. mother of 4
You already know the answer to this. Despite that it's nice to get gifts, the best gift someone struggling with finances can get is more money. Believe me, I know. Poor

Holiday bonus for part-time nanny

Oct 2006

How much do people give as a holiday bonus to their childcare providers? One week, Two weeks wages .. more? Or do people give them a physical present? What is appropriate? Background: We hired a *fantastic* nanny in June to take care of our 12 mon old child 10 hrs a week. We pay her $13 per hr and did not offer her any paid vacation. But we pay her when she is sick or we take vacation (which is about 4 wks a yr)

Our wonderful nanny has worked full-time for us for almost three years. We've given her a $1000 holiday bonus the past two years plus a small gift to open. (We currently pay her $17/hour with COLA increases on her employment anniversary date, plus health insurance, 3 weeks paid time off, time off on most of the U.S. national holidays, and a cell phone that's part of our family cell plan.) I realize our situation is different than yours, but seeing a range of practices should be helpful. - An appreciative mother
Definitely give her cash instead of an item. $13/hour is very difficult to live on in the first place, but clearly she's a part-timer (perhaps she's in school?). It's likely she will always need extra money at this point in her life. Give her whatever seems generous to you, but not over the top. I also strongly feel you should give her yearly paid time off as part of her contract anon
The ''apropriate'' amount is 1 or 2wks salary. Though, I think any amout in keeping with your income level and living style will be appreciated.

Birthday gift for nanny

March 2006

Our nanny has been with us about 1 1/2 years and don't know what would be an appropriate birthday gift. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Also curious about what others have done. Thanks! curious

I think a gift certificate for a massage is an excellent idea. Nannys need a break too and probably need to release some stress. If you don't want to spend a lot of money you can get one from National Holistic Institute (NHI) which is around $30 or if you don't care about money then you can get one from The Claremont. I gave my daycare provider one for Christmas and she loved it! skashan
I am currently a nanny for a wonderful family and have recieved (from the child) simple gifts picked out by her (a scarf, a small travel toiletries bag and the like) Mom and dad make sure I get a nice card, signed by each of them personally. Gifts don't have to be extravagant to have meaning to your nanny. The big monetary bonus comes at the holidays only for me and that is fine. I suggest choosing a gift that would be best suited to your nanny. Is her job the only source of income for herself, her family or a 2nd income? Maybe a gift certificate to a pedicure/manicure if she likes that sort of thing. I had a friend who adored chocolates and was most happy with a fancy ''up market'' variety box once a year. Put a little thought into it and if your child is old enough to help - they should choose a gift or make a card. It will truely be appreciated! Nanny knows
M-O-N-E-Y. It's a great color and it always fits. susan
Depending on your Nanny's age and the degree of intimacy you have with her: a $50 to $100 gift certificate to an appropriate store or a small gift and dinner out. Miguel
I was a nanny for quite a while and it is hard work without much time for rejuvination. I suggest a gift certificate for a spa treatment like a massage. Also, has dining certificates, and I love to give/use these. heather
As someone who has been a nanny and has hired a nanny, a nice cash bonus is ALWAYS appreciated. It may seem a little impersonal, but believe me, as a nanny it was so nice (and sometimes a relief if I had pending bills) to get an unexpected extra amount. And when we've given such a thing to our nanny she has really has thanked us profusely and usually says something along the lines of how it was really needed at that particular time. You can make it more personable by having your child(ren) help make a nice card and write something in it to the nanny about how much you sincerely appreciate specific things that your nanny does for them. Being a nanny can often be a job where a lot of extra efforts on the nanny's part may not be recognized, so good for you for doing something to show some appreciation. Former nanny, current mommy

Holiday bonus for nanny share?

Dec 2005

We are part of a nanny share and are giving our nanny a week of paid vacation at Christmas time. I'm wondering if it's also customary to give a bonus and how much that should be (or if a gift would be more appropriate?) She's been with us for just a couple of months now and this is all new to us.

I got my first holiday bonus as a nanny last year and nearly fell over! It was about a week and a halfs salery. In addition, I had time off with pay and a small gift personally picked out by the child. I suggest any or all of the following: Time off with pay, a cash bonus (whatever you can afford..and make it cash! Not a check the nanny has to take to a bank.), a gift certificate, a small gift chosen and wrapped by your child. Nannies come from all backgrounds, try to match your bonus/gift to what your nanny might really need and want! It will be very much appreciated! A happy nanny in El Cerrito

Christmas Gift, Year-end Bonus

Dec 2000

Can anyone provide some guidelines regarding Christmas bonuses for childcare providers? Are there any rules of thumb for the appropriate dollar amount? I would appreciate any feedback given. Thank you Maria

I had this same issue this year. I spoke with 4 other families and everyone had a different idea. I think it depends on how well you like your nanny and what her financial situation is. Our nanny is a single woman and is supporting a teenage son so we wanted to give a little more. We decided on one week's pay, in cash. That worked out to about $300. Our nanny just started working for us in August and only works 3 days/wk. Next year we may decide on two weeks pay. our neighbors want to give their full time nanny who started in Sept. $500 - $1000. Other people said they were going to give $100 but those tend to also give a gift as well as other perks during the year (trip to Hawaii with the family, extra days off with pay, etc.) Hope that helps a little.
Nov 2000

As the holidays approach, I am curious about what people do for their nannies/sitters as a xmas/holiday gift. I remember hearing a colleague at work last yr say that it it not unusual to give the nanny a bonus as much as one month's salary! That is much more than we can afford, and I was wondering what others have done. I certainly think my nanny deserves the best, but need to stay within our budget. Thx.

We have two babysitters who each work only one day a week for us, and have done so only for about 3 months now. What would you recommend as a holiday bonus in this situation, and when should it be given?
To the person inquiring about a holiday bonus. We have a full-time nanny and have given 1 week's salary for a year of service at Christmas. If the nanny has worked less than a year, we prorate the bonus with a minimum of 1/2 week's pay.
Nov 1999

I'm trying to decide what kind of bonus to give our nanny, and would love to know what other people consider to be appropriate. The nanny, who is wonderful, takes care of two 8 mo. old boys together in my home full-time. Both families essentially split the cost of $15 per hour (which we pay as a straight salary of about $650 per week). We give her paid holidays and two weeks of paid vacation and 5 sick days per year. She's worked for us since June of this year. We have an informal contract that says she'll get a year-end bonus. We'd like to give the bonus around Christmastime, in addition to some smaller gifts from the babies. We have some good ideas for gifts, but have no idea how much cash to give. We're broke, of course, but we'd like to do the right thing, whatever that is.

Most people whom I've seen/heard of giving bonuses, give a bonus tied to the person's compensation. So, say, an extra week's salary (or, since the nanny has worked a half year, say half-a week's salary -- though since you're happy with her, maybe a week's salary isn't crazy).
We generally have given our Nanny a nice personal gift plus a bonus. Our bonus benchmark is a week's salary, which of course increases as she gets raises over time. You might reduce that benchmark a bit for a new nanny with only a half year's service, but if she is as great as you say, I'd give her a whole week.
I want to respond to the issue of Nanny Year End Bonus recommendations. Someone suggested a week's salary for good service.

While I don't philosophically object to this advice, some of us are paying at the highest level we can afford throughout the year and an extra week's wages, even if one month a year, is simply not in the budget. I believe that our ongoing commitment to fair financial treatment is adequate and that I'd like to share in the celebration of this season, with our nanny as well as with our families and friends, in heart-felt ways when possible instead of or in addition to limited use of cash gifts. We (2 families in a shared childcare situation) are therefore are planning to give our nanny an extra $100/ per family plus a color zerox photo collage of her with the children documenting their year together. We will also make an extra copy of the color zerox and copy some video tape excerpts made throughout the year for her to send to her family, and probably make her a gift from the babies (their hand prints with warm message glazed onto a large coffee mug at Brushstrokes for example). I do beleive that it is possible to be fair and during this season without spending a lot of money which we don't have.

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