Parents often grapple with how to show their appreciation, especially during the holiday season. Our piece serves as a guide to tipping for babysitters and childcare providers, ensuring you can express gratitude in a thoughtful, appropriate manner throughout the year.
Patricia Napier-Fitzpatrick, founder of The Etiquette School of New York in Manhattan and Southampton, says, “People want to do the right thing—whether it’s giving them a monetary gift or something they bought or made for them—and are unsure about how much to give their care providers to show gratitude for their services.”
Some service providers, including nannies and babysitters, are expected to be tipped in cash, but the rules become grayer for teachers and babysitters, though a gift is still commonly given. However, this year’s inflation has affected many significantly. There is a widespread inability to afford presents for loved ones. A holiday gift may seem like a waste of money, even though they are grateful for their caregivers.
Napier-Fitzpatrick can comprehend.
Many people may be having difficulty making ends meet this year because of the increased price of products and services. Even though she offers suggestions for monetary and other types of presents, she stresses that doing so is merely suggested and in no way obligates the recipient.
The most crucial point to remember is the significance of expressing thanks.
Tips for caregivers were discussed by Napier-Fitzpatrick and a financial advisor, who explained why some of the best presents need not cost a dollar.
How Much Should You Tip Your Babysitter?
Napier-Fitzpatrick notes that the standard tip for a nanny or au pair is one to two weeks’ salary plus a modest gift from the child. A babysitter is usually compensated with an evening’s wages and a modest gift from the child.
However, money-saving expert Andrea Woroch recommends that parents, depending on the in-home provider’s responsibilities, consider paying extra. A nanny or babysitter who picks the kids up from school and takes them to music lessons and soccer practice may get a larger tip than one who simply comes to your home and plays with the kids for a few hours while you and your partner go out to lunch.
Do You Tip Your Child’s Preschool or Daycare Teacher?
There is less clarity in the recommendations for tipping non-domestic service providers. Parents don’t typically pay teachers and caregivers, as they may be salaried or hourly employment. The advice provided by Woroch and Napier-Fitzpatrick was just marginally different.
Napier-Fitzpatrick recommended presenting $20–$70 to the child’s daycare provider, a little gift from the child, and up to $25 to the child’s nursery school teacher. Another option is for parents to band together and buy an expensive gift for the instructor.
However, according to Woroch, giving gift cards to pre-school educators and caregivers is customary.
However, cash donations to schools or daycares are unusual.
Woroch recommends providing store gift cards or a gift card from a major credit card company like Visa or Mastercard.
Remember that the total amount you placed on the card may be less than the amount you put on the card because of fees associated with activating the card and each use.
Look at the small print. Woroch recommends a store gift card in place of cash if any costs are involved. Gift vouchers to discount stores might be especially useful for teachers who need to stock up on teaching supplies.
I need some advice on what to get my babysitter.
Napier-Fitzpatrack believes it’s fine to keep it simple and nice, whether you want to give something little in place of or in addition to a monetary tip.
Ideas for Presents for Babysitters
- Gift certificates to a favorite eatery or cafe.
- Keys can be stored discretely in a mini-valet or belt bag.
- Insulated to take drinks on the go.
- Books that cater to their specific tastes.
Even though many educators complain that they have too many of these items, I think any educator would appreciate a very good cashmere scarf and glove set donated by generous parents, as Napier-Fitzpatrick suggests.
However, some heartfelt presents come from the child themselves and don’t cost a dime.
Creative kids could make a painting or compose a poem.
Napier-Fitzpatrick recommends including a brief message expressing gratitude for their assistance during the year with any gift. Even if you’re not sure, this note should do the trick.
Whether it’s a handwritten message, a plate of cookies, or a modest token, always remember how vital it is to express your appreciation.