a blog about parenting, home daycare, adoption and life in general.

What Daycare Providers Really Want For Christmas


I recently asked a group of Home Daycare Providers for their thoughts on what they would love to receive for Christmas from their daycare parents.  Like teachers, daycare providers often receive the same things year after year.  Or sometimes, nothing at all.

I wrote 10 Things Your Daycare Provider Would Love To Receive For Christmas a few years ago.  When I wrote that post, I discovered that one week’s pay is what would be considered an appropriate gift for the person who cares for your children.

Interestingly, none of the daycare providers I heard from came remotely close to that in terms of cost.

Here’s What Home Daycare Providers

REALLY Want For Christmas:

 Gift cards so I can afford to buy the dayhome toys that I only wish I could afford, but can’t. I am also one who loves candles because I can always smell poopy bums even when no one has one, lol. And if all of the dayhome parents worked together to plan to keep their kids home to surprise me one day (just let me know the night before so I don’t wake up early for nothing). That would be awesome. I also LOVE letters of appreciation. I probably value that more than anything. Sometimes this job leaves providers feel under valued and under appreciated.

– Kelly B.

 Anything!! It just makes my day whenever parents show their appreciation.

-Jenny M.


Cash bonuses or gift cards. I have enough ornaments to fill three houses.

-Carolyn M.

I just want to feel appreciated!

-Tammy E-W.

Gift cards, cash, spa certificate, alcohol, something for ME, not for daycare!

-Karen D.

Something to pamper ourselves. Spa, gift cards, alcohol ;-).

-Courtney S.

And here are 10 more ideas:

1. A night of babysitting.  Either offer your own services, or offer to pay a trusted teenager to watch your daycare provider’s kids so that she and her husband can enjoy a kid-free night out!

2. A gift certificate for a house cleaning service.  Your daycare provider will be able to use it before entertaining this Christmas!

3. Car detailing.  If your daycare provider uses her vehicle to shuttle daycare kids around (or even if she doesn’t), why not give her the gift of cleanliness!


4. Books or toys for the daycare.  Daycare providers often spend hundreds of dollars on keeping toys new and engaging for the kiddos.  Give her a gift card for her favourite toy supplier, or credit at her favourite educational supply outlet.

5. Dollar Store gift card.  Perfect for all of those craft supplies that the daycare kidlets go through.

6. Carpet cleaning.  If your provider’s house has carpeting, chances are it’s seen it’s fair share of traffic.  Send a team of professional carpet cleaners over to her house!

7. Pizza delivery.  Ask her if you can have pizza delivered on the last daycare day before Christmas.  She (and her family!) will thank you.


8. Hand written cards and toys or craft supplies for her children.  Let your daycare provider know that you’re grateful for how much her children share of their space, toys, and their mom’s attention!

9. A basket of pre-packaged healthy snacks for the daycare children, for the next time she takes them to the playground or on a field trip.  This will give her one less thing to worry about while planning their time away from the house.

10. A heartfelt letter of appreciation for all she does.  It won’t cost you much, but it will mean everything to your daycare provider.  Sharing how happy you are that your child is well cared for will be something your provider will carry with her for years to come, without exaggeration!

The most important thing is to let your daycare provider know that you appreciate the care she gives your child each day.  A word of thanks and encouragement, especially after a long day, can be all the gift she needs this season!

Which of these things would you most appreciate receiving at Christmas?

Article written by:

Megan is a WAHM to 3 (and then some) kids, who spends the majority of her time working as an Administrative Assistant, blogging and washing dishes. She loves to write about her adventures in parenting, running a home daycare, adoption and whatever else strikes her fancy!


  1. Alli

    Personally, I think gift cards are always the way to go when showing daycare providers and teachers your appreciation. That way, they can pamper themselves. I agree that they don’t need another ornament.
    Go check out Alli’s latest post! Easy Family Dinner Ideas for the HolidaysMy Profile

  2. Jenn @ EngineerMommy

    These are all fabulous ideas of gifts for daycare providers. I love the idea of handwritten cards from the kids or gift cards to their fave stores!

  3. Jaime Nicole

    We usually go with gift cards or cash. While I am sure that our children are, in fact, artistic geniuses, I recognize that care providers might not be quite as enthralled as parents and grandparents.
    Go check out Jaime Nicole’s latest post! The Santa List – Managing ExpectationsMy Profile

  4. lisa

    This is a great list for gifts for daycare providers. I haven’t had a child in day care in years, but I like this list!
    Go check out lisa’s latest post! Family Holiday Traditions: Video Game NightMy Profile

  5. Amy

    This is a great list! It is easy to end up feeling over worked and under appreciated in the daycare world.
    Go check out Amy’s latest post! USA Made Eco Friendly ToysMy Profile

  6. Miranda (Myrabev)

    Caring for kids is hard work but to add someone else’s on top is even harder so I am sure the daycare providers would appreciate all the ideas you’ve shared especially giving them a night off and caring for your kids as well as theirs.
    Go check out Miranda (Myrabev)’s latest post! Wardrobe DeclutteringMy Profile

  7. Cassie

    It’s awesome seeing these daycare workers being so candid with their wants. I can’t believe how popular gift cards are!
    Go check out Cassie’s latest post! $200 Topshop Gift Card GiveawayMy Profile

  8. Elayne

    My children have never been in daycare, but I can imagine it feels alot like being a mom all day long for the provider. If I were to give a gift to a day care provider, I would give them a pampering gift that I would like to receive myself.

  9. Miles L.

    This is a good question to ask. For those who have asked this question, you now have an idea. 🙂
    Go check out Miles L.’s latest post! How to Add Personality to Your Christmas TreeMy Profile

  10. Lisa

    What a great idea to give some gifts to day care workers. I love the idea of pizza delivery.
    Go check out Lisa’s latest post! $20 Paypal giveaway #SpreadCheerMy Profile

  11. Franc Ramon

    I think it would be more practical to go with cash or gift certificates for them. Food would also be a nice token.
    Go check out Franc Ramon’s latest post! Alaska holds 20th Alaska Football CupMy Profile

  12. Rebecca Swenor

    These are great gift ideas for any daycare provider for Christmas. I love the gift card idea and pizza delivery. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Erin

    I love these answers! My MIL is a daycare director and she would probably agree with all of this!
    Go check out Erin’s latest post! DIY Family Photos {without tears!}My Profile

  14. Michelle

    Great ideas, the car detailing, git cards and cash would definitely make my in-home sitter happy. Just knowing she has to shuttle four kids from school daily, I can imagine she would love to see her van look like new again.

  15. Liz Mays

    This is really helpful information actually. I’m not surprised the gift cards would go over really well!

  16. Angelic Sinova

    Gift card are always A-okay in my book! If anything, the recipient can buy exactly what he or she really wants for the holidays <3
    Go check out Angelic Sinova’s latest post! Holiday Equations: Mixing and Matching Holiday DecorMy Profile

  17. Stephanie of The TipToe Fairy

    I always send gift cards to Starbucks or Target for teachers. Just a little something to get themselves a treat.
    Go check out Stephanie of The TipToe Fairy’s latest post! Take an Afternoon Coffee Break at Dunkin’ DonutsMy Profile

  18. Tiffany @ Daily Leisure

    My kids were never in daycare so I don’t really have a clue what kinds of gifts they usually get. I thought daycare was open pretty much every day of the year, so I didn’t even know it was customary to give a gift!! I will share this list with my friends. I bet having an unexpected (paid) day off would be fabulous.
    Go check out Tiffany @ Daily Leisure’s latest post! Sandals Grande Antigua Spa Makes Departure Day BetterMy Profile

  19. Tatanisha Pitts-Worthey

    Gift cards had worked perfectly for years and they’ve always been happy about it. It’s one way of showing that we appreciate all they’ve done.
    Go check out Tatanisha Pitts-Worthey’s latest post! Travel Deal: Great Wolf Lodge Starting @ $149 per nightMy Profile

  20. Jenn

    We got our child care teachers some gift cards to put in our thank-you notes. Our boys gave them the notes with a bottle of sparking cider. They totally loved it! I don’t think those teachers are appreciated enough.

Comments are now closed.