Your family nanny or full-time babysitter plays a fundamental role in the development of your children. It only makes sense that you would want to form a warm, personal relationship, making the babysitter feel like a part of the family instead of just an employee.
From nanny to family
Here are some helpful ideas to transition your nanny or babysitter into the family:
- Linger over transition times, such as the end of her shift, to chat about the day’s activities and candidly discuss issues and needs regarding the kids. This is also a great opportunity to take the time to inquire about your nanny’s life and interests outside of caring for your kids. Treat her like a friend, not just as an employee.
- Invite her to share in family meals.
- Invite her to your child’s birthday party or other milestone celebrations to show she is a special participant in your child’s life.
- Take her along on a family vacation. Determine in advance what role she will play on the trip and how compensation and expenses will be handled.
- Make sure she is well compensated, including paid holidays, sick time and vacation.
Thoughtful gift ideas for nanny and babysitters
Remembering your nanny or sitter on gift-giving occasions also helps in making her feel she is appreciated and well thought of. Most nannies and babysitters will agree that the best gift is a cash bonus. A week’s pay is a very generous, often customary amount for a bonus for a full-time childcare provider, but even a day’s pay or smaller amounts will be appreciated if your budget doesn’t allow for more. Childcare providers often depend on a bonus as part of their compensation, and rely on it for personal expenses, support for their own family, or for holiday spending.
Cash can feel a little impersonal to give to your family nanny, so accompany it with a personal note expressing your gratitude for the care your nanny gives your family. A sincere note of appreciation goes a long way in making her feel she is valued.
Gifts for babysitter birthdays are also memorable–and for the holidays as well. A personal gift for nanny shows you are interested in her as a person, and have taken the time to get to know her well enough to know a bit about what she likes.
Great gift ideas for your nanny include:
- Gift certificate to a favorite store, mall or restaurant.
- A day at a spa where she can relax with a massage or pedicure.
- Tickets to a show or movie for a fun night out are great gift ideas for a babysitter
- A piece of jewelry or an accessory, such as earrings or a scarf that reflects her style.
- An item for her home, maybe something she or her family needs or something that would simply be nice to have.
- A new coat, tote bag or article of clothing.
- Equipment or accessory for a favorite hobby, such as a new camera strap or lens for a photo enthusiast.
Also, go the extra mile in making her feel like a well-loved member of the family by having your kids create for her a special hand-made gift. Simple, yet thoughtful homemade gifts from children include a book of photos, a framed painting or drawing, a collage or scrapbook of places they’ve visited together, or just a handmade card. Many nannies say they cherish these homemade gifts long after the family has outgrown their need for her care.
All in all, treat your nanny well, as you would your friends or family, and give her flexibility and respect for her personal life. Your thoughtfulness will go a long way in helping to create a warm, happy environment for your nanny and your family.