I picked up my son from daycare the other night and walked a few blocks home with another mother. She mentioned that she was starting to think about the holidays coming up and how much to tip the women at the daycare. Honestly, I hadn't even thought of it. I was thinking I would make some cookies or something, apparently I'm way off base. How much should one tip the workers at your child's daycare? Not the owners, just the other workers. Do they all get the same amount? Varying amounts? What if money is tight? Are small gifts ok as well? What's the best etiquette on this?

asked 23 Oct '09, 14:31

Liz%20H's gravatar image

Liz H
accept rate: 33%

For childcare and the like, I would feel comfortable giving something homemade to each of the workers. We do bulk homemade gifts each year (cookies, peanut brittle, apple butter, etc.) for exactly this kind of reason.

Here's a nice article on this. Ultimately though, etiquette is dictated by the environment. If there's a subtle way to find out the norm there, that'll be the best guide. Current expectations may be lowered due to the economy but this too will be locale specific.

Etiquette aside, I personally think tipping has gotten out of control. It's hard to go anywhere in my town without seeing a tip jar, even places where employees salary. If my cost is supposed to cover salaries (as opposed to in restaurants where pre-tip costs explicitly don't cover the waiter's/waitress's real income) then I do not tip. Again: this is because I do not feel tightly constrained by etiquette and am ok with social backlash. This is not for everyone.


answered 23 Oct '09, 14:47

Dinah's gravatar image

accept rate: 15%


I asked one of the main women there what happened last holiday season. She said she and another women were the only ones to get tips, as they are the "main" workers there. But, I know there are a total of 5 woman, I would not feel right excluding them if I were to give something. I like your idea of something homemade, that is what I would like to do, but knowing that they received money from all the parents last year makes me worried about not doing the same. I just read that article, found it helpful, thanks!

(23 Oct '09, 14:57) Liz H

My son goes to a family run day care. Last year we got her a gift certificate for dinner at her favorite local restaurant. I think it was $50, which is a lot but in our situation it is a very small setting, she provides excellent care and does many extras such as throwing birthday parties with decorations, homemade cake and pizza and a gift for the birthday child, so we felt it was warranted. Maybe in your situation you could do the homemade goodies and include a small ($5-10) Starbucks GC for each provider? I'd only do what you are comfortable with though. I don't think tips are expected, they are a bonus and any avenue you use to say "thank you" is appreciated (speaking from when I worked in a school and some students gave gifts while others didn't).


answered 23 Oct '09, 18:56

Tanisha's gravatar image

accept rate: 15%

I agree with the $50 gift certificate - that's what I've always done, and in the past it's been well-received. I'd give more for a live-in nanny.


answered 23 Oct '09, 19:03

YMCbuzz's gravatar image

accept rate: 12%

I am a day care teacher. I want to say Personally I and the other ladies I have worked for and with We never expect any thing at the holidays.

The best present I ever got was from a student and his parents was a Card. The boy signed the bottom of the card and the parents Wrote me a note saying You taught him to do this and so much more thank you for all that you do.

A Thank You always goes a long way.


answered 24 Oct '09, 04:00

Mary's gravatar image

accept rate: 10%

I have also worked in daycare. I was so surprised when the gifts were given at the holiday's. It was a great surprise. The best presents were the homemade ones!! They are all things I have kept and can remember each child that gave me the gift. Also, I have received gift cards to The Learning Shop (a teacher store), which I would use to get more learning activities for the classroom.


answered 25 Oct '09, 06:08

Betsy's gravatar image

accept rate: 2%

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Asked: 23 Oct '09, 14:31

Seen: 5,023 times

Last updated: 25 Oct '09, 06:08