A holiday bonus is a must for those who employ nannies, but many don’t realize that it’s a good idea to have a little something prepared to give to all of their valued caregivers—and that includes the sitter. If you have a go-to sitter, or even a shortlist of a few favorite sitters, it can be a nice gesture to treat them with something special to show your appreciation during the holiday season. And it doesn’t have to be something big or expensive. Think of it as a holiday tip to thank your sitter for a year of great work and dedication.
For a sitter, a standard holiday bonus should be equivalent to what you’d pay him or her for one or two typical “gigs” caring for your children. So, for example, if you usually pay your sitter $20 per hour for a five-hour date night every Friday, then $100-200 would be an appropriate bonus. As with most bonuses, the higher amount is typically reserved for employees who go above and beyond and employees who’ve been with your family for a long time. The lower end might be for sitters who just started working for your family, or in the event that you have multiple sitters. Regardless, a 2016 survey of parents by UrbanSitter found that the majority of parents (54 percent) do give their sitters a holiday bonus, and most give between $50-100, minimum.
If you have more than one sitter, you may opt to give smaller bonuses to each one, or you can offer a different kind of bonus, like a gift card. Gift cards to Starbucks or a local coffee or tea shop are a hit with most people, as are gift cards to iTunes, Amazon, or other popular online stores. The amounts of these can vary from $25-50 each or higher, depending on what seems appropriate for your unique situation. Gift cards or cash are the most common bonuses, though some families also choose to give their sitter tickets to things like a movie, concert, or show they might like. Even if funds are limited during the holiday season, a simple $10 or $20 gift card can go a long way towards letting the sitter know that you value the role he or she plays.
In addition to the bonus itself, it’s a sweet gesture to also have the children get involved. A homemade card or thoughtful letter from the children is a nice way to say thank you and show that they appreciate the sitter just as much as you do. They could also spend time making a simple holiday craft or homemade ornament to give the sitter. Some parents also choose to include little treats with the bonus, like candy or holiday-themed baked goods. Just be aware that these treats are typically given in addition to the bonus, not instead of it.
As always, a bonus is never required, but it is a nice way to ensure your sitter feels taken care of and appreciated. The holiday season is all about giving to and taking care of the people who mean the most to us, and the caregivers who show so much love to our children day after day most certainly fall into that category.