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How Much to Tip Your Nanny on Christmas

December 11, 2012

It’s the most wonderful time of the year again – it’s Christmastime! Along with all the friends and family you have on your gift giving list, you’re also probably trying to figure out how much to tip your nanny. You want to say thanks for the wonderful care she provides, for the extra things she does without being asked, and for all the days when she goes above and beyond to make your life a little easier. But how much is enough?

The industry standard for a Christmas tip or bonus is one to two weeks’ salary. However, there are several factors that affect what’s right for your particular situation. Here are some things to think about when deciding on an amount.

Your budget. For some families, one or two weeks’ salary is simply not in the budget. If it’s a stretch financially for you to even afford a nanny, it’s probably next to impossible to add on several hundred dollars to her end of year check. The good news is your nanny probably understands your financial limitations. Especially if she knows you sacrifice throughout the year to pay her a fair and competitive wage. In those situations, it’s a good bet your nanny doesn’t expect a big tip and will be happy to receive a little extra cash during the holiday season. It really is the thought behind the gift that matters. The important thing is to show your caregiver that you appreciate all her hard work and to say thank you for the great care she gives to your child.

She’s a new employee. If you’ve recently hired your nanny, you’re not expected to give her a hefty tip at the end of the year. She understands that she’s new to the job and hasn’t put the time in to earn an extra week’s salary. However you want to make sure that you still give her a gift or bonus that says you appreciate the work she does. A $50 gift card to her favorite store or $100 cash bonus is always a welcome surprise.

She’s a long time employee. If your nanny has been with your family for several years, the amount she receives will be higher than average. Not only are you saying thank you for the great work she does, you’re letting her know how much you appreciate and value her loyalty and dedication to your family. This is especially true for long term nannies that aren’t receiving regular raises because they’ve hit the hourly rate ceiling. The end of the year bonus is the perfect way to provide a financial reward for a job well done.

Her regular pay rate. Generally, nannies that make an average or above average hourly rate or salary receive a larger end of year tip than those that make a below average hourly rate or salary. This is a reflection of what the family is able to afford rather than the nanny’s value to the family or her performance. The idea is that families that can afford to pay their nannies competitively throughout the year can also afford to provide the standard bonus of one to two weeks’ salary. Of course, just because they can afford to provide it doesn’t mean they have to. Ultimately the bonus is a way of saying thank you. Families that do provide a generous tip do so because they genuinely recognize the great work their nanny is doing.

Her compensation package. If you’re providing your nanny with valuable benefits throughout the year, like health insurance, extra paid time off, or professional development dollars, you can give a much smaller end of year tip. Nannies recognize the extra costs involved in offering those benefits and are happy with the trade-off. Again, you still want to offer a small $50 or $100 gift card or cash gift as a thank you.

Other bonuses she receives during the year. Some nannies receive a bonus on their nannyiversary, the yearly anniversary of their hire date. If you celebrate that date with your nanny and give her a bonus each year on her nannyiversary, your end of year tip need only be a small holiday or cash gift – something to let your nanny know you’re thinking of her and appreciate having her in your life.

The end of year tip or bonus for your nanny is a perfect way to say thank you to an important person in your life. A perfect companion to a gift is a card with a heartfelt message inside that lets her know you value all she does for your family.


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