It’s the time of year when family and nanny gifts are somewhere on the long list of things we need to think about. It can be an overwhelming time of year, but hopefully also full of magic and fun!
Nanny gifts (and the gifts they might give to families) can be tricky because they vary a lot depending on the relationship. Do families give their nanny cash or a physical present? Do nannies give the parents presents or only the children? How much money is involved? It can be tricky to know what to do in terms of gifting, but Nanager is passionate about supporting and celebrating nannies and families, so here’s my take:
Personally, I think it is always appropriate for a nanny to give the children at least a small present, and for the parents to make sure the nanny gets a present from the family (even if it is something small just ‘from the children’). Heartfelt cards are always appreciated and really lovely to exchange. If you have a close relationship or know each other well and can afford it, more elaborate gifts might be exchanged. The more personal a present is, the better it will be received, but here are some ideas to get you all thinking.
Nanny Gift Ideas
1. Something related to their interests. This is really vague, but the key is to pay attention to what your nanny says and does. As a nanny I feel so seen and special when an employer notices something about me and chooses a present based on my interests! This special something might be a coffee gift card, a household appliance that your nanny loves using in your home, or a voucher for an activity they enjoy. (Hot tip – ask the children! All of my nanny kids, from probably age 2, would be able to answer the question of “what does Manda like?” with a range of relevant things to guide their parents!)
2. Extra paid time off. Particularly if you have more downtime during the holiday season, consider giving the nanny some bonus free time. This could be anything from a half day to a week, and you could combine it with treating the nanny to a special activity they could do during time they’d usually be at work. They might enjoy a spa treatment, or if you have friends who employ their nanny friend you could get together to surprise them with an adults-only high tea. (Give them some heads up about the need for whatever clothing or preparation they’ll need, even if the main event is a surprise!)
3. Cash bonus. 2021 has been a strange year. If you have required your nanny to adjust their schedule, responsibilities, or ways of doing their job this year and are in a position to give them a bonus, that could be a really wonderful way of thanking them for their service, flexibility, and support. So many nannies have stepped up in unexpected ways and dealt with challenging changes over the past few years, so a monetary bonus coupled with that heartfelt card I mentioned earlier…. What a treat to receive as a nanny gift!
Family Gift Ideas
1. A photo calendar. I know that I usually take soooo many photos of the children I work with! One great way to share these with the family is to give them a calendar with images you’ve taken of their children’s experiences over the past year. There are several companies where you can design them and have them printed. Takes a bit of planning, but it’s reasonably cost-effective, useful, and very personal. If (or when) you have too many photos to choose from, you might want to create photo books as well!
2. A voucher for an experience they can do as a family. Maybe you often take your nanny kids to the zoo, but the family doesn’t tend to go together, so you might want to provide the incentive. Some other ideas are mini golf, an upcoming concert or show, a special animal experience, or an art workshop.
3. Free babysitting. It can be tricky or even awkward to purchase something for parents who pay your wages. But as nannies we can provide the invaluable service of childcare! Offering an evening of your time as a gift for a family can be a way of giving parents something they will appreciate at a low personal cost.
Whatever you decide to arrange for family or nanny gifts this holiday season, I hope it brings joy to both the giver and the receiver! I still have Christmas cards that were given to me by families I worked with 20 years ago!