What Is the Protocol on Gifts for In-home Daycare Providers?

Updated on October 30, 2009
M.M. asks from Highland Park, IL
6 answers

What is the proper holiday gift to give a daycare provider who runs a small program out of her house? Is this like other service providers where you should give them a certain amount of cash (usually a percentage of their weekly salary). I have to start budgeting for that if that is the case and wanted to get some feedback from other moms and/or people who run daycare programs out of home. Would a gift be appreciated or is cash the way to go? Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

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answers from Dallas on

In the past, I asked my caregiver's husband about personal gifts, specifially a massage gift cert. He said she has never used them because she doesn't have time. I gave her a mani/pedi certificate that included mani/pedis for her two oldest girls also. They had a mommy/girls day at the nail salon and really enjoyed it.
This year (different caregiver), I am going to give her a gc to a very nice restaurant for date night with her husband. They are recently married, with an 8 month old, and her M. will watch the baby for them.

I agree with the other posters that you give what you can afford, and what you think she will like. I also keep in mind that this woman cares for and loves on my child every day, and I want her to know she is important to us.

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answers from Chicago on

I always gave cash to the provider (and cash, but less, to her assistant.) The amount has varied - early on we gave a week's pay (in addition to her paid week off) but after we had two children and multiple caregivers to give gifts to, we gave a lot less. (100/50 or 80/40). I also bought holiday gifts for her three children.



answers from Chicago on

Dear M. M, I have been on both sides of this question. As the parent when my daughter was young and then later after I had my second child I stayed home and did licensed daycare for a long time. I always gave gifts at the holidays to both daycare providers and then later when the children were in school to their teachers.

as a provider it is wonderful to receive a gift. I had one family who gave me an ornament each year to put on my tree. It was a nice gift. Another family gave me an envelope with cash. the ornament was nice but the cash was much more useful. I spent money each year on the children I cared for on their birthdays, easter, valentines day halloween and christmas. As a home daycare provider you do not have a budget given too you to use as they do in daycare centers. Any money used to decorate the room or new equipment and toys and food came out of my bank not a business bank. So a gift of cash is always a good choice. Gift cards are nice but like another previous poster said they provider may or may not have time to do massages, mani/pedi's etc. bless you for thinking of this now. and not wondering after the fact if you should have done something.



answers from Chicago on

I was a teacher, and a nanny, and now I am a Stay-at-home M. doing the in-home daycare thing. The most approprate gift is a holiday bonus of one weeks salary of what you pay her. For example if she makes $200 per week then a $200 bonus is what is needed. If you are not too tight, then two weeks is much better. But in these economic times most parents can only do one week. Always remember they have the most important job, they are helping you raise your kids and they work hard at it.



answers from Chicago on

I've been doing daycare in my house for now almost 5 years and never have gotten a gift holiday time. Not saying this to complain rather, just letting you know, I think its perceived a little differently than a center care. You can give whatever you feel is nice, and it should be appreciated whatever it is, I'm sure! So nice of you to consider her!!



answers from Chicago on

I think you should give what you can afford and also what you personally want to give. I have done home daycare for years and have a recieved a variety of gifts. I'm not going to lie, cash is always appreciated and then I can put it towards what I need to. (which sometimes is bills). I have always been grateful when I have gotten anything, even just a homemade card from the child. Even a small token like a card says that they cared enough to remember you. I wouldn't want a family spending money they couldn't afford to spend. The thought really is what counts. The only thing I do dislike (and I hope it doesn't sound selfish) is the few times parent's have given me gifts or giftcards that are clearly for the kids. Like baby toys or giftcard to ToysRUs.....honestly that just seems to not really have me in mind at all. I know some will probably think that comment is in poor taste, but when you give a gift, I think it should be for the person.

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