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Holiday Gift Giving for Parents: Who Gets Gifts?

Holiday Gift Giving for Parents: Who Gets Gifts?

It seems some clarity is needed. With the holiday gift giving season well underway, I’ve been thinking about which of my children’s myriad of caregivers should be on my list. And apparently I’m not the only one mulling this over, because yesterday three colleagues whose kids are in child care for the first time asked me what is appropriate.

Primary teachers are obvious as are, in my opinion, others who spend significant time in the classroom. But what about the center director and assistant director? The program coordinator? And if you cast the net that wide, do you risk offending someone by leaving her out? And then there’s my kindergartner to consider. As the first time parent of a school-ager, I have no idea what’s expected. The classroom aide? The room mother? The lunch ladies? The bus driver? This list could get very long very quickly.

The question isn’t only who, but also what? I have a relationship with my toddler’s caregivers. I see them at drop off and pick up, we communicate almost daily by telephone, and we write in a shared journal. I know a bit about them and have a sense of the kind of gift they might enjoy. That’s not the case with my kindergartner’s community. I don’t know what they’d like or how much to spend. Frankly, the whole thing is more than a bit overwhelming. So if you have any ideas, please let me know. I, and the teachers and lunch ladies and bus driver, thank you in advance.

Teacher and Child at Daycare



  1. Anonymous December 10, 2007 at 9:33 am

    As for the day-care staff, I limit the holiday appreciation gifts to the primary teachers and the support staff who spend a significant amount of time in the classroom with my children. To show my appreciation of the other staff(director, program coordinator, etc.), the day-care coordinates a holiday breakfast and I make sure that I contribute to that by donating money for the food. I’ve also seen people bring in things like bagels and coffee and ask the director to put them out in the break room with a thank you card.

  2. Anonymous December 11, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    my sons day care is VERY mixed with the classes. they have a policy of have the teachers move around during the day to spend a few minutes in each of the other classes to get them used to ALL of teachers and teach them new people can be accepted. I was at a loss as to how to distrubute holiday cheer, his direct class teachers were a must but the other added alot to his day also, so I went the route of stopping at dunkin donuts for coffes and a mix of bagels donuts muffins… and I left a pile of cards (one for each person at the school) with a personalized message. i’ve heard some people say they give money as a tip to the ‘homeroom’ teachers. i find this unnecessary, its hard to put a monetary amount on the head of the person who takes care of your child each day when really its just a show of appreciation that counts.

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