Time is flying by, and before you know it, the holidays will be here. Have you made your list yet? You don’t want to be stuck scrambling for presents, but there’s one name on your list that you’re stuck on—your daycare provider.
Your daycare provider is the glue that holds your family together when you’re at work, so you want to do something special to show your appreciation. Coming up with a gift idea for a daycare provider seems like a challenge though, and you’re running out of time.
Have no fear, we’re here to help! Whether you’re looking for a fun idea to spark your creativity or you need a quick last minute solution, we’ve got your daycare provider gifts covered. We rounded up 15 gift ideas for daycare staff to help you breeze through your holiday shopping. Happy shopping!
15 Great gift ideas for daycare providers
1. Handmade gifts from your little ones
Your kids are a huge part of your childcare provider’s life. They’d love to get a handmade gift from the little ones in which they invest so much time. Keep in mind that your provider may receive crafts from other kids—if you’re friendly with other parents, you can collaborate on a class project. Otherwise opt for a gift that’s useful as well as sentimental, like a decorated frame or coffee mug.
2. Craft supplies
Childcare providers are constantly burning through the craft supplies that keep kids busy on rainy days. Your provider would love having extra crayons, paper and glue on hand. Remember not to buy anything that could be a choking hazard for toddlers or infants. And don’t forget about the lesser-known supplies like pipe cleaners or cotton balls!
3. A night out
Every parent knows how it feels to need a night out after a long week with the kids. Your childcare providers likely feel this way, too. Treat them to a fun night out by giving them a pair of tickets to an upcoming concert, theater production or movie. They’ll appreciate the chance to have some grown-up time.
4. A holiday bonus
Let’s face it: many childcare providers don’t earn a huge salary, even though they care for the most precious person in your life. A little extra compensation would go a long way in showing him or her how much you appreciate all of their work throughout the year. If you’re not completely comfortable giving cash, try a gift card instead.
5. Books or toys
All of that reading and playing takes a toll on their equipment. Many providers struggle to replace things that have worn out. New books or toys for all of the kids to share can be a huge blessing for your provider. Try to choose a variety of books that are suitable for a range of ages, and make sure toys are educational and not loud or irritating (you know the kind all too well!)
6. Personalized stationary
Childcare providers make plenty of lists to stay organized, and they’re always writing notes to parents to keep the lines of communication open. Why not give them something both pretty and functional for all of that writing? A cute stationary set might be just what your childcare provider needs to brighten their afternoon after a long day. If you want extra brownie points, personalize it with their name.
7. Your time
If the holiday season is tightening your budget, consider giving a gift of your time instead. It’s hard work running after kids all day, and your daycare provider would love the help of an adult every now and then. Volunteer to chaperone on a field trip or assist in a classroom project. Small gestures like this can go a long way—and your kids will love seeing you stop by their daycare!
8. Grocery delivery
In-home childcare providers not only need to buy groceries for their own family but for the kids in their care, too. Meal planning and trips to the store can be stressful. Help them free up some time by giving a gift certificate to a local grocery delivery service!
Your childcare provider spends hours each day chasing after kids of all ages. As you can imagine – it’s exhausting! Give them a pick-me-up with a bag of gourmet coffee or a gift card to their favorite local coffee shop. If they have a single cup coffee brewer, wrap up a box of coffee pods. They’ll never deny an extra caffeine boost!
10. A personal gift
Is there a certain candle scent your childcare provider loves? Is the latest season of their favorite TV show out on DVD? It may take some time to find out what he or she likes, but more personal gifts like this show your provider that you think of them as a friend and not just an employee.
11. Classroom plant
Your daycare provider spends countless hours nurturing your children. A small plant in a homemade or decorated pot could be a nice way to say thank you for assisting in your children’s growth. Choose a plant that doesn’t need intensive care and is non-toxic for the little ones. You can even gift a pot, soil, and some seeds so the whole classroom can watch the plant grow before their eyes!
12. Flowers and a handwritten note
Childcare providers want to know they’re appreciated. A simple bouquet of flowers and a heartfelt note will go a long way toward showing your provider that you understand all the hard work they do and that you’re grateful for their presence in your children’s lives.
13. Baked goods
Everyone loves a delicious homemade treat! If you’re talented in the kitchen, why not whip up a delicious holiday dessert for your daycare staff? You can get your child involved with mixing and adding ingredients, so you can truly say the gift is from both of you. Be sure to double check if your daycare provider has any allergies first.
14. Tote bag
Teachers and daycare providers always have their hands full. Whether they’re carrying art supplies, books, or child-made art, chances are that they will need a bag to hold everything. These teacher bags on Etsy are great options for a more personalized touch.
Show your appreciation with a childcare-themed piece of jewelry. From bracelets to necklaces, your childcare provider will love the sincerity and thoughtfulness behind the gift. Just remember that children can be grabby with necklaces and earrings—so it might help to try to keep your choices as kid-proof as possible.
Choose a gift that shows you care
There’s no doubt about it, your daycare provider plays a huge role in your kid’s lives. It’s no wonder you want to show your gratitude and appreciation with a gift!
We hope you find this list informative and helpful in your quest to find gifts for daycare providers. Just remember that at the end of the day, it’s the thought that counts, though we’re sure your daycare provider will appreciate any gift on this list.
Are you a daycare provider? Is there something we missed that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below! And if you found this list helpful, be sure to pass it along to your friends and family to give them some great gift ideas.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in November 2015. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2017.