Daycare - Teacher Appreciation Week

Updated on April 02, 2013
K.B. asks from Greenville, SC
12 answers

My son attends an expensive day care in the area - most of the children's parents there are professionals (doctors, etc) and everyone is very blessed financially. The tuition is over $1000 a month for my son and the only reason he's there is because the grandparents are able to help out and pay for half the tuition. I received an email about Teacher Appreciation Week at the daycare from the committee setting up this week long event. In the email (in bold print) it stated that they hoped that all families would contribute at least $20 or more to fund this event. I am not a doctor or lawyer, my husband and I are comfortably middle-class. Yes, we could give $20, but it just irks me that we are expected to pay more money to this facility. I don't want to sound selfish (my husband is a teacher, trust me, I understand that our teachers are under appreciated), but I was a bit put out by the email, to be honest and my question is - should I pay the $20 (or more) as requested? Is it tacky not to give $20? We bought my son's teacher a small Christmas gift and I have no problem buying appreciation gifts or having my son "make" something (he's only 15 months), but I feel like I'm being forced to give even more money after we pay so much anyway. I don't want to seem stingy or selfish. Thoughts?

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So What Happened?

I appreciate everyone's time and comments reading my question! Just to clarify - I don't sent my son there for "bragging rights" - our friends/family could care less about which day care my son attends as long as he's safe and happy.
We are going to give our $20 and I am going to try and do it with a cheerful heart, but yes, it's the solicitation of funds that bothers me more than anything. That being said, my son's teacher takes excellent care of him and his classmates and I don't want to have a bad attitude towards an event that shows gratitude.
Thanks again and happy Easter!

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answers from Chicago on

Okay, you are admittingly attending a more affluent center, the deal is they are going to do more than say a "Kinder Care" will do, you signed up for it when you signed up for the day care. I agree that 20per family is a lot PERIOD.

I can only imagine what we could and would do for my son's school's teachers if we had that kind of a budget.

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answers from Dallas on

$20 to thank someone for taking care of your son, nurturing him, teaching him, and keeping him safe? $20 for you knowing he is in good hand while you work to provide for your family? $20 for no worry about his well being? $20 for him to enjoy himself every day?

What exactly is the problem? You CHOOSE to pay this that much for tuition. If you want to go somewhere that doesn't cost so much and where you don't feel forced to give money, by all means...have at it. I think it's really quite silly to feel resentful for a tuition you choose, and to not want to willingly thank your son's teacher with $20.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I'm with Bug on this one.
Look, no one likes to have their generosity dictated to them.
BUT, I think you should look at the bigger picture here.
These are the people that care for your son daily.
You said you could afford the $20.
The choice is yours, really, in the end.
But perhaps this could be considered as the CDB at that facility.
You probably don't want to single yourselves out by causing a stink.
Personally, I'd contribute the suggested amount.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I whole heartedly and 100% agree with you. We shell out $1200 a month for FT daycare for our 5 year old.... if that doesn't show appreciation then I don't know....

I HATE HATE HATE the solicitation of donations.
I mean if your daycare is like mine, we are talking about a FOR PROFIT business! If they want to make their employees feel special and reward them for good work, I feel that they should shell out some of that profit and do something nice instead of asking the parents to contribute. Fortunately my daycare does this and for teacher appreciation day each child simply brings in a flower to contribute to the class bouquet and a self-made card.

I am however not looking forward to school next year and their various fundraisers... Bleh.

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answers from San Francisco on

As much as it would irk me too, I think you should pay it. If you don't, it will be reflected in the school's attitude toward you and your children.

If every family is paying over $1k per month, the teachers should be making a very good living. But, in private settings like this one that cater to the financially blessed clientele, the list of "extras" will be never-ending.

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answers from Dover on

Teacher Appreciation Weeks that end up being orchestrated events have always irked me and, like you, it has nothing to do with whether or not I am appreciative.

One school we went to had something planned for every day of the entire week. Monday was flower day and every child was to bring a flower. Okay, no big deal. But as the week went on, the gifts got more and more expensive. Wednesday was Bath and Body Works Day. Friday was Gift Card day. Then there was the luncheon we were all supposed to potluck. It was kind of galling to me to be told how to show my appreciation.

I would have gladly spent more than $20 on something that I and my children picked out for their teachers that was a reflection of us and our feelings for her. I felt it much more worthwhile to have my children with me in the store looking for something that THEY felt said, "Thank you" while we talked about what a great teacher he or she was and what they liked or needed in the classroom. That is real appreciation to me.

Given where you are, you are probably best serving yourself and your child to just cough up the $20. I would let them hold their breaths in anticipation waiting for the "or more."

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I would not give the money. That is what $300 a teacher? I would send in a card of appreciation. In the past, when there were more than one teacher in the picture, I have given a group gift of a basket of individually wrapped candies or mints.

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answers from Charleston on

It's bunk that people are saying that just because your child attends an "affluent" daycare that you should expect to have this expensive request. My kids go to public school, and this type of madness is there too. This week is their Teacher Appreciation week. I am TOLD by the room mothers and the PTA/PTO what to bring each day, how much to spend and at what stores. I am also requested to send in food for lunch and dinner all week, and to sign up to take the kids to lunch each day. It is RIDICULOUS! Why is this event a week long? Why can't it be one day? What other profession gets a whole week to be "appreciated"?

Now this all being said, I am a stay at home mom with the luxury of being able to volunteer regularly and almost always when asked. I spend no less than 10 hours per week at my children's schools. Therefore when this week rolls around, I do participate, however it is on my terms. Because I spend my time volunteering on a regular basis, I do what I want and will lovingly participate in the small, simple things like sweet notes from my child, a nice card from me and my husband, sweet treats, etc...

I look at these "demands" by room moms and PTO as the way for parents who work and cannot be in the schools volunteering to feel like they contribute. But this may not fly with them either given the state of our economy and that almost everyone is pinching pennies these days and cannot afford to spend $50+ on a teacher in a week.

Teacher Appreciation week is not my job or any parent's job to supplement a teacher's income. Don't like teacher pay? Don't become a teacher. Sorry to offend anyone, but that's how I see it.

So to answer your question, hell no it's not tacky not to give $20. And quite frankly from the discussions I've had with most teachers, they do NOT expect this. Give from your heart, not your wallet.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

You want the bragging rights to say that your son goes there but don't want to do the things that come with that bragging right.

Pay the $20 or become the poor/cheap family that is not really "one of the group".

No way would my son go (have gone) there. I would save that dough for college! Even uneducated parents can teach a child colors, numbers, alphabets, etc.



answers from San Antonio on

Keep in mind, it is the committee asking, not the daycare itself. I was head of this committee myself a few years back. The idea is to get the teachers one nice larger gift, rather than a bunch of coffee mugs, scented lotions, or picture frames. We had lots of parents that did not give the full $25 we asked for, instead giving $10 or $15. We also had some that gave $50. There were others who opted out and gave the teachers something individually, and I am sure other that gave nothing at all. The idea wasn't to make people feel like they "had" to give, rather it was with the intent of giving a large gift card, and bringing in lunch from Olive Garden for all of the staff so that they didn't have to eat their Lean Cuisine that day. :) Do whatever you feel is best.



answers from Miami on

If you like the daycare and they are good to your child AND to you as parents, then it's worth it. There are some good centers and some bad centers out there. There are good centers to the CHILDREN and nasty administrators. With 2 kids in daycare for years before I became a SAHM, I've seen all three scenarios. The one with the nasty administrators held it against the parents who did not contribute, I will tell you. They had a parent group that did "nice things" for the teachers and the facility, fundraising for them and all of that (it was a big church's daycare) and I was really disgusted by their politics. So what you are saying doesn't surprise me at all and there is NO guarantee that this ISN'T coming from the daycare via the person who wrote the note, just so you know. And yes, I left that daycare because I will NOT be treated like that by someone I pay a lot of money to. As long as I have choices, I will choose someone who treats me fairly. I hope that you don't experience unfairness at this center.

I think what you are saying you will be doing in your SWH is the right thing to do. I do just want to tell you that this is JUST the BEGINNING of getting these notes, K.. The room moms for all the elementary grades will be sending these same notes all year long. Just be prepared...




answers from Spartanburg on

I understand your feelings- no one likes to be told what they HAVE to do, especially grown-ups who know full well what to do. So try to take the bossy-pants email out of the equation and ask yourself this: if no one was organizing a gift for the teachers, what would you do? Would you still spend $20? More than $20? If yes, then just send the money, like you said, with a cheerful heart. If not, then I think there's nothing wrong with replying to the email "that's more than I was planning on spending, but I'll send what I can." If someone takes issue, that's their problem.

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