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December 12, 2011


Valerie Thorgersen

If your nanny is full time, and only started with you in September, would you still give them a whole week's salary as a bonus? Or would you pro-rate it?


What about a home day care provider? We use her three days a week. Is she tipped like an in home Nannie, facility day care provider, or babysitter? Or something in-between Nannie and babysitter?


This article was not very helpful for the majority of households with kids (neither was the 2010 version). Most full-time working parents can't afford a nanny or au pair, babysitters aren't sufficient, and we don't require special needs. We simply use either a child care center or before- and after-school programs offered on site. What do we tip these caregivers (typically 3-5 people, plus center directors), who spend time with our children every day?


Hi Valerie,
My name is Stephanie and I work at Care.com. I asked Carolyn Stolov, our Child Care Specialist and Work/Life Expert for an answer to your great question. Her response is below:

It's a personal decision to make. Generally, I encourage parents to lean on the side of giving more and not less, if they can afford it. Anyway you can show that you appreciate your caregiver is always well-received. Another option would be to pro-rate the cash bonus and give a small gift or frame a picture of your nanny with your child, a framed piece of your child's artwork or holiday card. Don't forget to use this as an opportunity to write a card to let the nanny know how much you appreciate all they do for your family.

Hope this helps! Happy Holidays!


we are giving our nanny a 10 day paid vacation since we are taking a vacation out of the state so should we still give a full week's bonus?


Same question like Lisa above, what if you are paying the nanny for the full month of December but actually giving her the last week off?


I would say yes to giving the bonus, even though you are giving her vacation. I am sure you agreed her vacation time would be a mutual decision. Please bear in mind that it is convenient for you that she take her annual leave now and if she is your full time employee that she is entitled to annual leave. I like to follow the rule of "what would I like?" I am a mother of 2 now with sitters and a former nanny. I know by giving a little more here and there, I most definitely get a little more in return.


Hi all,
Stephanie here again...and I once again got Carolyn's expert advice to answer your questions.

Kris: The family could do a cash bonus that is equal to the tuition/cost they pay for three days. Again, with any provider the parents have to weigh their own financial situation and what they can afford. The key is to show how much you appreciate them, and that can defintely be done on a small scale. Have your children write cards and parents should always include a personal note. Gift certificates work well. Something the home day care provider might not do for herself like a salon or spa certificate. You know the provider the best, is she practical and would the money be more helpful or would she love a massage.

R: The is most challenging when having a child at a center when there is a Director and 3-5 teachers working with your child. Usually there is a Head teacher who might be responsible for writing your child's conference report. If that is the case, you could provide her a larger gift. I tend to focus first on the teachers (since they are doing the primary care of your child and get paid less) then the directors. It all again depends on your budget. On the inexpensive end candy and cookies up to gift certificates. Even a $5.00 card to a local coffee shop is appreciated. Most teachers I know usually pick up a cup on the way to the center for the early shift. Teachers appreciate gift cards for coffee or another store you know they would like. Often the directors know the teachers personally and can provide some ideas. The same goes for the Director as far as the gift ideas. Teachers and Directors really appreciate knowing they have made a difference in a child's life. I once saw a teacher frame a card and post it in her classroom from a parent. Words of appreciation matter a lot as well as personalized pictures from the children. Children can dictate to parents what the teacher means to them and you can frame that as a gift as well as framing what the teacher means in your family and child's life.

Lisa and Gigi: Bonus and vacations are two different things. Each family who employees a nanny should have a work agreement which outlines how much vacation pay the nanny will receive. If the parent provides more, I still suggest some gift around the holidays. It is all about expectations...did you give a bonus last year and then now you would not because of the vacation? That could create hurt feelings since they could be expecting it. The holidays again are the time you take to acknowledge how much your nanny means in your life. When I look at the gifts I have to give each year, I usually put teachers and caregivers as high priority and my children and then everyone else I have conversations about how to lessen the holiday gift giving frenzy. In my own family we only give gifts to the children and grandma. Then we always plan a day to be together because that is what the holidays are suppose to be about. Caregiving and teaching are low paying jobs but very important so I use my budget more heavily there.

Thanks for all your great questions. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do for you at Care.com!

Happy Holidays!


To you, it’s about finding care for your aging loved one that is trustworthy and reliable. To us, it’s about supplying the absolute best quality home care, custom-tailored to you and your family’s unique needs.

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Nice post, this sort of element is essential for teachers because teacher is the person who directs the student towards success. That is why he / she must knows the all the aspects of human psychology.

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Not just for patients and elderly, i also do tipping with my dog walkers it gives me great pleasure and assurance that my pet is cared specially.


I am sorry, we pay our nanny a fair wage and we give her presents for her birthday as well as Christmas. We feed her 2/3 meals a day. She gets every holiday we get as a paid day off and paid vacation. We've also paid medical bills for her both for her sake and the sake of our child. However, a week's pay as a bonus is ridiculous. My husband and I work very hard and I got $50 (which I gave our Nanny as she stayed late because of the holiday party I had to attend) as a "bonus" at Christmas and he got nothing. I understand corporate work is different from this type of personal service work, but a week is ridiculous.


We pay my Mothers caregivers a good wage, their taxes and social security. We give them 7 days vacation and if they do not take it we pay them time and a half. They also have 9 holidays for which they are paid double-time. Do we still need to give a week's pay as a bonus? Thanks!

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