Etiquette Question - Los Angeles,CA

Updated on April 13, 2010
S.S. asks from Los Angeles, CA
13 answers

My baby is currently enrolled fulltime in infant daycare and has three main teachers. For teacher appreciation week, the director has announced that she is collecting money in order to take all the teachers (not just the infant teachers) out to a nice dinner and asked that we contibute what we can. So my husband and I were planning on giving $20 but then today, we got a seperate notice from one of the parents who announced that she was also collecting money in order to give the infant teachers a gift card and was asking us all to contribute $10 a teacher. Since there are 3 infant teachers that would be $30 and I don't want to seem cheap but since we were going to give the director $20 for the teacher dinner, that's a total of $50! Kind of steep. So my question is do I have to contribute to the parent's collection? She's collecting just for our infant teachers while the director is collecting for all the teachers and I feel bad not giving to either one b/c both the pots are going to benefit my babys teachers who are awesome. Plus, if I gave to one but not the other, I feel like the other collector won't know that I gave and think I'm just a cheapskate who's not appreciative of the teachers... what should i do? I'm really torn. Please give me your opinion. Thanks!

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answers from Dallas on

I have never heard of a Director asking parents for money before. Also, I don't think it is appropriate for the other parent to tell you how much she expects you to donate. There are probably other parents who cannot afford to do that.
Maybe you should talk to the director.
If it were me, I would make my own gift to my child's teacher and not care if the others thought I was a cheapskate.

6 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Tulsa on

You don't have to donate the either collection. It's your choice. $50 is very steep. If you wish, you could take in some muffins or cookies and show your appreciation that way.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on


I worked in Daycare with varous ages of children for several years. Where I always appreciated monetary gifts or any other sort, cards with kind words of how they appreciated all I did for thier child have stayed with me even longer, sometimes these cards would come at a time when I felt I had had enough and it would help me to keep on going. I would suggest to you to decide on one you would like to contribute to, maybe the big group one and tell the other person that you are doing something by yourself for your child's teachers and go get them a card and maybe a $5.00 gift certificate to somewhere you know they like to go. Or even just a card is fine! Thank you for your consideration of the teachers feelings! Not all parents feel that they deserve recogniton for all that they do!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I personally, think it's in bad taste for anyone to ask for any amount of money.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

My opinion...simply let the mother know you have already given some money to the director for the same cause.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Fresno on

Just a suggestion - if your total budget is $30, let's say, then you could give $20 to the teacher dinner and $10 to the room mom's collection. Or split it $15 each. The amounts stated are just a suggestion, and you should only give what you can comfortably give. Some parents will be financially able to give more, and some will give less. Any amount you give will be appreciated.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Johnson City on

It's a daycare; aren't you already giving them enough money for watching your baby? I would bake them some nice cookies, but that's about it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I work with Junior High aged students, so it's a little different, but I can tell you that the gifts I appreciate most are simply a kind word now and then. It means a lot to know that someone notices what I do and cares that I try to do the best I can do for their child.

Please do not spend more than you can spend on any gift. If you want to contribute to one, go ahead, and then tell the mom that you've already given to the other and can't afford to do more right now. But you should not feel obligated to contribute to anything.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Personally, I would tell the collecting mom that you're already participating in the director's gift plan. There's always O. in every crowd.....LOL
As a FREE extra--give the 3 infant teachers a nice, handwritten note of thanks for all they do!


answers from Norfolk on

Oh honestly! This whole appreciation thing can get so very carried away. My mom taught 6th grade for 30 years and I can't tell you the number of Christmas ornaments and knick knacks she collected over the years - many many boxes of them. When my son wanted to give something to his teacher for her birthday, we got her a card and a nice vanilla scented candle in a jar - whole thing was less than $5. She loves it. She can use it and it won't be sitting on a shelf collecting dust or in her attic. If it wasn't something she cared for, she could even re-gift it without much fuss.



answers from Houston on

Ditto Carla.

The parent who asked for an extra $30 must know about the dinner.
Although her intentions are good, $50 is steep to be hit up for at one time.

During the course of the school year, I usually give $40-$50 in gifts cards to each teacher but not all at once. A good teacher is priceless but unfortunately, everyone has a budget.


answers from Kansas City on

i bet the parents doing this don't realize that the daycare is already doing it. and it's AWFUL presumptious of the parents to decide on everyone's behalf. personally, i would contribute to the daycare like you were planning. i have done "fund raisers" to give a boss an appreciation gift, and i have NEVER put a monetary "suggestion" on it. it's always "just give if you can, what you can." and i've always included that if you don't want to, that's fine too. no pressure! and the gift is always from ALL of us, regardless of who paid or didn't. the way that the parents have decided for everyone, would turn me off to helping them at all. don't be torn. just give what you can. those who matter, won't mind. and those who mind don't matter.



answers from Chicago on

I think it's up to you what you do. Our daughter has been in day for about a year (she is 1.5 years) and we've always done our own thing for her baby sitters. She was at an actual daycare center and we gave them gourmet cupcakes and Starbucks cards for Mothers day and when we moved I made a oneise for our daughter to wear on her last day. It said I "heart" Miss teacher and Miss Teacher. On the back I made kind of a top ten of what she loved about daycare. then made two somewhat matching teeshirts (excpet with messges from my daughter to each teacher) and put them on teddy bears for each teacher... They loved them (the one teacher actually asked to keep my daughters onesie. It was really cheap to do too a pack on iron-ons for the pritner and three $5 teddy bears from traget, and a pack of newborn teeshirts. We gave her current babysitter a gift card to get her nails done.
The one teacher at the old place said it was just nice to be appreciated. I'm sure you wanted to do something small (and more personal) for her teachers they would love it.

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