The Holiday Tipping Guide

Because weโ€™ve gotten this question from almostย every mom we know, here are the guidelines to follow when giftingย the nanny/sitter/daycare/teacher this holiday season. Hint: The answer is always cash. We worked with the experts at UrbanSitterย to make sure we were on the money ๐Ÿ˜œ. Read on for how much and the exceptions to the rules.

Warning: Youโ€™re about to open your wallet and empty all contents. But no one is more deserving than the village that helps raise your kids.

First Things First

  • While some of these people may be like family, they still work for you in some way, and a bonus/tip is based on performance. Itโ€™s important to keep that in mind.
  • Put any bonus or tip in a card with a heartfelt note to really drive home how much you appreciate the person.
  • A small gift, especially if your child is old enough to make something, is a thoughtful cherry on top. Our favorite is a work of art on canvas by your kid(s) that they can hang at home.


The General Rule

If your nanny is like family โ€“ makes your life one million times easier, loves your kid(s) like they are her own, you would be lost without her โ€“ a holiday bonus of 2 weeks pay lets her know that.

The Exceptions

  • If you canโ€™t swing 2 weeks as a bonus (itโ€™s a lot of money), opt for 1 week + any extra paid days off you can give her around the holidays.
  • Your nanny has been with you for a short time. If things are going well and you see her going the distance with your family, we recommend pro-rating her bonus based on how long sheโ€™s been with you. But let her know that next year, sheโ€™ll be eligible for the full 1-2 weeksโ€™.


The General Rule

  • If use the same sitter on a weekly basis, a $50-$100 holiday tip is a nice sentiment.
  • If you have a rotation of 2-3 sitters, using each 1 or 2 times a month, $25 per sitter is sufficient.

Daycare Staff

The General Rule

  • You should tip anyone that has direct contact with your child regularly. If thatโ€™s multiple people, $25-$100 each, depending on each oneโ€™s level of involvement.
  • If there is only one person caring for your child, $100-$200 is appropriate.


The General Rule

  • Only tip teachers when your kids are in elementary school. Once they change teachers in middle and high school, youโ€™re off the hook.
  • Make sure your school allows teacher gifts โ€“ some donโ€™t.
  • $50-$100 for your childโ€™s teacher
  • $25-$50 for teacher aides.
  • $20-$40 for any administrative staff that makes your life easier (school psychologist, nurse, carpool superviser).
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