our everyday life

Gift Etiquette for a Child's Caregiver

by Cari Oleskewicz

Parents rely on other caregivers to teach, discipline, love and nurture their children. Teachers, nannies, babysitters, tutors and other childcare providers who take a special interest in your child deserve to be remembered on occasion. Deciding whether to say "thank you" with gifts, money or homemade items can be tricky. If you know the caregiver well, a personalized gift from you and your child is often cherished and appreciated. When you are unsure of what to give, money and gift cards are always welcomed.

When to Give

Most families choose to give caregivers gifts for major holidays. A gift in December covers Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year's. If you have a nanny or a regular babysitter, a birthday is also a good time to give a gift. Pay attention to appreciation events as well. Most schools honor teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week, which is a good time to find out how you can help your Parent Teacher Association or similar group celebrate the care and education provided by teachers. The end of the school year is also a good time to bring a teacher a gift. If you are returning from a vacation and someone watched your children while you were away, remember to pick up a souvenir while you are out of town to express your appreciation.

Giving Presents

When you decide to shop for a present, what you choose depends on your budget, how well you know the caregiver and the degree of service provided to your family. According to Care.com, the best caregiver gifts are often those that promote relaxation, such as a gift certificate to a salon or spa. Technology is also a popular gift idea, particularly for college-aged babysitters or nannies who love their iPods, smart phones and tablets.

Giving Money

Cash is still king, even in care-giving circles. Providing a generous tip to your child's babysitter, nanny or daycare teacher is thoughtful and, according to "U.S. News Money," even expected. You may opt to get together with other parents to provide a bigger monetary gift to daycare providers or preschool teachers. When you are giving money to an employee of a company or organization, such as a daycare center, make sure there aren't any rules that prohibit it.

Making Gifts

Homemade gifts can be a personal way to express your gratitude for everything your child's caregiver does. Letting your child help create the gift can make it even more special. According to Care.com, popular homemade gifts include framed pictures of your child and his or her nanny, handcrafted soaps, magnets, candles and food. A large basket of freshly baked cookies, breads and other treats is a great idea for a group of caregivers you want to thank, such as a daycare staff or teachers at your child's school.

About the Author

Cari Oleskewicz is a writer and blogger who has contributed to online and print publications including "The Washington Post," "Italian Cooking and Living," "Sasee Magazine" and Pork and Gin. She is based in Tampa, Florida and holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and journalism from Marist College.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images