The ‘Happy Holiday’ Season is here! While the gift-giving season can be festively fun it can also be full of expense, unspoken expectations and pressure.
When it comes to the people caring for your children, you want to be sure to send the message that you respect and appreciate the job that they do, but you also want to achieve this with minimal stress on your behalf. With that in mind, here are a few recommendations and tips for giving this season!
What is the holiday gifting etiquette for your nanny?
In our modern world “cash is “king”, and holiday gifts are no exception. In the nanny world, a year-end bonus is considered by many to be a customary and traditional expectation, in return for the services provided and a job well done.
What is the typical dollar amount of a year-end bonus?
The standard amount that most nannies receive for their bonus is the equivalent to 1-2 weeks of their normal pay rate. However, this amount may vary according to factors such as: how many years your nanny has been with your family, how pleased you are with her services, and where in the country you live, so be sure to ask around to find out what range of bonus is typical in your neighborhood.
Does the bonus have to be received during the holidays?
Some families choose to give a bonus at the time of their nanny’s annual review or they may separate the amount into quarterly review bonuses instead of giving a lump sum. While this is completely acceptable, and there may be advantages to doing so, it would be advisable to let your nanny know in advance (preferably at time of hire) to manage expectations and avoid hurt feelings.
What if my nanny just started with us? Am I still expected to give the standard bonus?
Some families chose to give a full bonus as a sign of ‘good faith’ and to show their nanny they are happy with where the employment relationship is heading. Other families choose to give their nanny a thoughtful gift, extended paid time off for the holiday or a pro-rated bonus.
Do I have to pay taxes on a bonus?
Legally, any and all monetary exchanges between you and your employee are considered to be income that you both need to pay taxes on, even if you consider it a “gift” for the holiday season or a thank you at time of review. If you plan to claim the bonus on your taxes, be sure that your nanny is made aware so that she can factor it into her tax responsibilities as well.
Can I give a gift instead of a monetary bonus?
At the end of the day, a gift is just that… a gift! While a year-end bonus is traditional for a professional employment relationship there is a very personal element that goes into the nanny relationship. Maybe you would love to buy your nanny a pair of warm UGGs for winter walks, a plane ticket to visit her family during the holidays, or even a Caribbean cruise. While it is completely up to you, just be sure it is something that your nanny would actually need or want.
The most important aspect of your nanny’s holiday gift is to let her know how much you care and value all that she does for your family. A personal note or a thoughtful gift from your children goes a long way towards making your nanny feel fulfilled and appreciated in her job. So regardless of what you decide is appropriate or feasible for your family, be sure to say “ Thank you!”.
Hi! I am Holly...
For over a decade, my career focus has been centered in and around NYC in the childcare, education, and family support industries.