Thank You, Caregivers

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How Much to Tip Your Nanny Or Babysitter This Holiday Season

Because they’re simply the best.

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The holidays are here, and it's time to thank everyone who plays a pivotal role in helping make your village work — and keep you sane. And at the top of that list are nannies and babysitters who provide loving childcare support that is so crucial to your family’s well being. But, do you give your nanny a Christmas bonus? Is that expected? Naturally, you want to acknowledge all that they do for your family in the form of a gift, and yes, cash is an appropriate Christmas gift for a nanny. Now, though, you’ll need to know exactly how much to tip your nanny at Christmas. Even if you try hard to pay your nanny or babysitter a fair wage, caregivers tend to be living without health insurance and are often on a tight budget. This is a time of year to — if you are able — give them a little extra thank you.

“The holiday season is a wonderful opportunity for families to show their appreciation towards the nannies and babysitters in their lives via tips, and, according to a recent poll of 1,000 parents, 76% are planning to tip during the holidays,” Maressa Brown, a senior editor for Care.com told Romper. “The reality is that nannies and babysitters make a difference in families’ lives each and every day by caring for those most precious to them. The holidays are the perfect time to say thank you for their work and reinforce that they are valued.”

Now, here’s how to calculate how much money to tip your nanny or babysitter this year — and what to give instead if money is tight this year.

How much to tip a nanny at Christmas

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From playing with your child to helping them do their homework, your nanny contributes so much to the day-to-day functionality of your household. And that’s why you want to reward your superstar employee (and yes, a nanny is an employee) for all the amazing work that they do with your child — work that you know first-hand can be incredibly demanding. You absolutely want to do the right thing, but exactly how much do you tip a nanny at Christmas? A tip equaling one week’s salary is considered to be the standard amount to tip a nanny at Christmas, according to Westside Nannies founder Katie Provinziano. “Typically, the standard holiday bonus for a full-time nanny is equivalent to one to two weeks’ worth of pay,” she says. “That said, the amount will always depend on you and how much you’d be comfortable giving.”

One weeks’ salary is considered very fair in the nanny industry, but if you’re interested in going above that, well, the sky’s the limit. “It is not unheard of for families to give their nannies $10,000 or more,” Candi Vajana, a professional nanny, explains to Romper. “I have seen families purchase cars for their nannies.” While that might seem astronomical, if your budget allows for it and your nanny has been with your family for years, it’s not unheard of — especially if you want your nanny to stay with you for years to come. “Is this a nanny you hope to work with long-term as your family grows, or a favorite sitter your kids ask for over others?” Jada Rashawn, a nanny expert at Sittercity, tells Romper. “Tipping shows how much you appreciate their work and connection with your family, and may help lock in a solid, reliable care partner for years to come.”

How much do you tip a caregiver at Christmas?

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Babysitters are the unsung pinch hitters when it comes to childcare. But, because they tend to be more part-time than a nanny (usually a few hours daily or even weekly), their Christmas bonus doesn’t have to be as robust as a full-time nanny’s would. “As a nanny is often a consistent care partner for your family, a larger tip is appropriate versus a standard sitter,” says Rashawn. “However, sitters you have on a more regular rotation - say, multiple times a month - may also receive more consideration than someone you bring in less often, whether due to their schedule or your family’s personal preference.”

So how do you calculate a part time nanny bonus? How much should you tip a babysitter at Christmas? “A typical holiday gift is one or two average nights of pay,” advises Provinziano. “You should take into account how long a nanny has worked for you, how well they performed on the job, and what you can reasonably afford,” she says.

Thoughtful gifts you can give your nanny or babysitter for the holidays

If all that talk of $10,000 bonuses got your heart pounding, don’t stress. If you are on a tight budget, there are other ways to thank your nanny. Cash tips are best, and considered standard. But if they’re simply not in the cards this year, that’s OK. “We also know that families often have budget constraints during the holidays – in fact, 79% of parents polled are stressed about affording their kids’ gifts this year – so there are other ways they can show their gratitude,” says Brown. “We suggest getting creative and involving your kids.”

After all, there are other ways you can express your appreciation without going into debt. Here are some alternative nanny gift ideas:

  • Gift cards
  • Framed photo of the kids
  • Spa treatments
  • DIY craft from the kids
  • Experiences (such as a cooking class or a )
  • Paid day off
  • Memberships (i.e. to a nanny association, food delivery service, etc.)
  • Flights (if a nanny is living far from her family)
  • Concert tickets
  • Gift basket
  • Extra paid vacation time throughout the following year or more time off for the holidays
  • Paid meal at their favorite restaurant
  • Arrive home earlier than scheduled and still pay them for a full day

And if you’d like to get a gift that you can wrap with your child, these gifts for nannies are beautiful.

Ultimately, it’s up to you how much to tip your nanny or babysitter during the holidays. “As long as it’s within your means, you want to be as generous as possible,” says Provinziano. “After all, it’s more than just giving cash — it’s saying thank you for a job well done.”

Experts:

Maressa Brown, a senior editor for Care.com

Candi Vajana, a professional nanny

Katie Provinziano, founder of Westside Nannies

Jada Rashawn, a nanny expert at Sittercity