Childcare has always been an important part of any household, but with all that 2021 has thrown our way, it’s become absolutely essential. Most families have felt the stress of managing remote working (and learning) with childcare, and have leaned on nannies and private educators to keep their families safe, supported, and sane through it all.

With the holidays in full swing, many are excited to see 2021 come to a close, but are also just happy to have a reason to spread some joy and general merriment! The holidays also often bring with them the hope of receiving an annual bonus or holiday gift.

This year, maybe more than any other recent years, many families may feel like their budgets are a bit tighter than normal, but it’s important to remember that a monetary bonus after a year of hard work demonstrates a family’s appreciation, and is an acknowledgement of the love and care a nanny or private educator puts into their jobs day after day. The holiday bonus is more than just cash; it shows that you know how important your nanny’s role is in your family, and in this year – we can all use a little moral boost.

So, the question is how much should you give? Typically, the standard holiday bonus for a full-time nanny is equivalent to one to two weeks’ pay. Families with fairly new nannies usually calculate about one full day of pay per month that the nanny has worked so far and offer that as a bonus. For a nanny who has been with your family for over a year, one full week’s pay is a good guideline. And for nannies who have been employed by you for three years or longer, it’s customary to give at least two weeks’ pay, or even more if you see fit. Some families give a full month’s pay to longer term nannies. Also remember, the bonus is considered taxable income and should be reported as such.

In addition to how long a nanny has worked for you, the size of their bonus can also depend on their performance. When possible, a great performance should yield a higher bonus. The final factor to consider is what you can reasonably afford, especially given this past year. If you can’t afford to give as much as you might in other years, it can go a long way to include a sentimental handmade card or gift from the children. This could be anything, from a simple DIY craft the children put together to flowers to a box of cookies or cupcakes from the nanny’s favorite bakery. The point is simply to show that the entire family appreciates the nanny, and that he or she has earned a special place in your children’s life. It truly is the thought that counts – you want to show the person caring for your children that they matter and are valued.

In lieu of a cash bonus, some families like to offer other big perks. In non-COVID years, that may look like airfare home for the holidays or a nice spa day, but could also be a coveted gadget like an iPad or smart watch. Ultimately, the holiday bonus is about how you, as an employer, would like to show your appreciation. What you choose to give is up to you, and the bonus will, of course, depend on your means.

If a generous holiday bonus truly is not in the cards for you financially, you might also consider giving the nanny additional paid vacation time throughout the next year or more time off for the holidays.

Even though the parent-nanny relationship is professional, it’s also personal. This is someone who shares an important bond with your children, fosters their growth and development, and who you’re able to rely on through all the up’s and down’s of a sometimes tumultuous life! When considering the holiday bonus, think carefully about what your nanny’s performance has meant in your life and in the lives of your family, and consider whatever kind of bonus you choose as the best possible way to say thank you for a job well done