8 Guidelines For Tipping Your Nanny This Holiday Season

People often wonder: What am I required to tip my nanny this time of year? Do I tip a full-time nanny the same as a part-time nanny? What about a babysitter?


In nearly 60% of American families, both parents are very active in the workforce. Therefore, nannies have become an important part of families.


It is common to express gratitude to nannies and babysitters by giving them a holiday bonus. In the past 20 years of working with nannies and families and having nannies caring for my three girls, I have heard many different versions of what is “customary” to tip your nanny. Some of us are able to tip more than others, but let’s just assume that there are some regulations/rules around this topic. Wouldn’t that solve us moms a lot of discomfort?


When I worked as a nanny, I usually got a holiday gift valued at about a week of my salary. There were the occasional families who tipped me up to a month’s worth of pay (yes, of course, I was excited about that!),
but let’ keep it real. When I had my first child, I was finishing up my masters and had no extra money. Everything I made went to my school and my nanny. Since I also didn’t know how much I was supposed to tip during the holidays, I bought her a gift instead.
As I got to meet other nannies and moms, I learned that no one does it exactly the same way.
So, let’s make some order in this whole BALAGAN (mess in Hebrew…:-) and agree on the following. If you are wondering why I am SO certain about the following, you will just have to trust me that after working with nannies and families for so many years, I have heard it ALL. Here are some guiding principles to help you with your decision on tipping your nanny this year.
  1. If you love and appreciate your nanny, then you want to make her happy and keep her. A holiday bonus is a good way to show that appreciation, as many other industries pay their employees bonuses this time of year.
  2. Nannies talk to each other! So, they always hear what others make and compare bonuses and salaries. While you don’t need to always be comparing yourself to every other family, know that your nanny is and if she realizes that she could be treated better somewhere else, this isn’t good for keeping her around for the long-term.
  3. Even if your finances are tight, you MUST show your nanny that you appreciate her by giving her something.
  4. BE HONEST with you nanny if your financial situation doesn’t allow you to give her an extra week pay. If you lie to her, she will find out and be resentful. I have worked with MANY nannies who, despite the families not giving them huge bonuses,  loved their job and felt appreciated in other ways. I also worked with many nannies who got $10,000 bonuses and felt miserable. It’s all about the way you show your appreciation and communicate openly with your nanny in managing expectations.
  5. If you are able to go by what’s standard, a full-time nanny usually expects to get a bonus of one week’s salary.
  6. However, besides a holiday bonus, a thoughtful gift can go a long way!
  7. Remember that your nanny is not a thrift store. I have heard from many parents who say they give their nannies their used clothing and bags and they think that this is enough for their nanny. Even if your nanny loves designer clothing, trust me, she would RATHER get extra money.
  8. WRITE a holiday card. We are all so busy and don’t always get to express our thoughts and feelings to the one person who helps make our lives much easier. Write a holiday card with a nice long message and express your gratitude and appreciation in writing.

It’s tough this time of year with having to spend money on so many different things, but I urge you to not let this be an area you overlook. For more info on this, here is a great resource.

I’d love to hear from your in the comments section. What do you typically tip your nanny? What other questions do you have?

If you’re interested in more information about our services as they relate to your nanny, check out our nanny consulting page  or contact us today.

2 replies
  1. Carly
    Carly says:

    I love my nanny but she’s only been with us 3 months as of the holidays. I was thinking of tipping her a little over half of a week’s salary – is that OK?

    • Limor Weinstein
      Limor Weinstein says:

      You can give whatever you think is right. Even half a week after 3 months is more than many other give. I will suggest also giving a small more personal gift. Let me know if you need ideas! And thank you for asking. Best!


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