How Much To Tip Your Nanny Or Babysitter For The Holidays
Handing your nanny, babysitter or daycare provider a cash tip for the holidays is a no-fail way to show your gratitude for taking care of your little one. But just how much should you be giving?
How much should you tip your caregiver?
Just like there’s no set rate for how much to pay a nanny or babysitter, holiday tipping is often a gray area. Things can get even murkier when it comes to daycare, since there’s usually more than one caregiver and they aren’t your direct employees.
Still, there are some general rules of thumb that you can use to figure out an appropriate amount. Here’s what the experts recommend.
How much should you tip your nanny?
Nannies tend to be full-time caregivers that care for children on a consistent basis and might even handle additional tasks around the house like cooking or cleaning. If you have one, she’s likely an indispensable part of your family’s life. So it’s worth showing your appreciation by tipping her accordingly.
Here’s what to give your nanny
A standard holiday bonus for a full-time nanny is one week’s pay, says Rebecca Stewart, founder of VIP Nannies Inc. Household Staffing. And the number could go up over time. “If a nanny has been with you for over two years, the bonus could increase every year,” she adds.
Are other gifts okay?
Thoughtful extras are always nice, especially if you know of something your nanny would really love, says Dara Epstein, Executive Director for SmartSitting. (Just make sure the item is in addition to a cash gift, not in place of one!) Think a gift certificate to her favorite store or restaurant, a spa treatment or a cozy pair of cashmere gloves. Another idea? You can never go wrong by offering a few extra days of paid vacation.
How much should you tip your babysitter?
Babysitters are generally hired for short-term or occasional work. They aren’t usually involved in making your family’s everyday life run smoothly, but the services they do provide (hello, date night!) are still important. Letting them know by giving a small holiday bonus isn’t just a nice thing to do — it can up the odds that your sitter makes herself available whenever you might need her.
Here’s what to give your babysitter
The general rule of thumb is that holiday tips should match the cost of your babysitter’s last sitting job for you, or at least come close. Especially for sitters who go above and beyond. (Maybe yours regularly tidies up and does the dishes after putting your little one to bed, for instance.)
Are other gifts okay?
As with nannies, cash tips are the best option. But if it’s a sitter who you only use once in a while, a $25 gift card to a store, coffee shop or nail salon would also be appropriate.
How much should you tip your daycare providers?
It probably goes without saying that your child’s daycare providers are indispensable. But tipping etiquette can be less straightforward, especially since they’re employed by the daycare rather than paid directly by you. Plus, if your child is cared for by multiple people, should you tip each one?
Here’s what to give your daycare provider
Unlike with nannies or babysitters, there’s no clear rule of thumb for how to tip your child’s daycare providers. Still, “it shouldn’t break the bank,” says Tracy Perchick, Director of Early Childhood Education for the Preschool at Temple Emanuel in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. While it’s important to show your appreciation, there’s a good chance that the daycare workers are already receiving a holiday bonus from their employer. Her recommendation is giving $50 to $75 to be divided among the caregivers. Another option? Pool your resources with other parents in your child’s room or class and give the group a few hundred dollars to divide among themselves, suggests SmartSitting Corporate Care Specialist Collin Colsher. Give it to the lead caregiver at your daycare facility and that person should distribute it appropriately.
Are other gifts okay?
You can never go wrong with a cash tip. But daycare workers would inevitably love a Starbucks gift card or some other token of your appreciation. “Honestly, we don’t care so much about the tip itself. It’s more about doing something nice for us to recognize our hard work,” says Gianna Perez, Temple Emanuel preschool’s infant/toddler program supervisor and lead teacher. “I’m just as happy getting a card or a drawing from a child — probably more so.”
If you’re still having trouble coming up with the right number, try asking fellow parents. Caregiver payment and tip amounts can vary depending on where you live. Chatting with others can give you a sense of norms for your area — and whether you’re within the ballpark range.