Seven Holiday Gift Ideas For Your Daycare Staff

  • Budget
  • Employees

The holiday season is here! That means it’s time to, once again, answer the age-old question of what gifts to give your staff.

Child care is an incredibly rewarding career, but that doesn’t make it any less difficult. Your staff works hard to create your daycare’s warm, safe and educational environment. Show them you appreciate their efforts with a gift.

Every employee, regardless of where they work, wants to feel valued. One of the easiest ways to make them feel this way is to give them a holiday gift. And when employees feel valued, they tend to stick around. This is important because staff turnover is expensive. Your business will grow faster when you don’t have to spend resources hiring new employees.

We’ve compiled seven holiday gift ideas to help you decide what to give your employees this year!

1. A Gift Card

Nope, it’s not the most original holiday gift idea. But what gift cards lack in originality they make up for in practicality. Seriously, who wouldn’t want an extra $25 to spend on Amazon or Starbucks or at a book store. The answer is basically no one.

The trick is choosing the right gift card for each of your team members. Think about each employee’s interests and choose a gift card that matches those interests.

For example, if one of your teachers always has a mug in their hands, they’d probably enjoy a coffee or tea-related gift card. Teachers who work full-time and have a gaggle of kids might appreciate an Amazon card, which will allow them to shop without leaving the house.

Gift cards don’t have to be a thoughtless gift. Personalizing them doesn’t have to be difficult, and when in doubt, opt for a Visa gift card that can be used anywhere.

2. A Delicious Meal

Everybody loves free food! For this reason, consider giving your team a delicious meal this holiday season.

You can do this in one of three ways:

  • Cook the Meal Yourself: If you know your way around the kitchen, cook your employees your favorite dish. They’ll appreciate the time and effort you put into this holiday gift idea and you’ll probably save money compared to the next two ideas. Win!
  • Hire a Professional Caterer: Can’t cook a turkey to save your life? Never fear, you can always hire a pro caterer to cook for you. We like this option because it will allow you to host your meal in a place of your choosing, such as your daycare center, and be able to spend time with your staff instead of hustling to serve and clean up!
  • Go to a Fancy Restaurant: You can also take your staff on a field trip to a fancy local eatery. This is likely the most expensive option listed here. But it will give you the chance to treat your employees to a unique and memorable experience.

3. A Day of Relaxation

Child care is stressful. Help your employees relax by giving them a day at the spa or a trip to the masseuse for a massage. They’ll need it after a whole year of wrangling kiddos.

What if your teachers are homebodies and the thought of going somewhere to relax actually adds to their stress levels? No problem. Bring the spa and/or massage to them. Bath bombs and essential oils from Lush are popular home-pampering items. So are back, neck and shoulder massagers like this one from InvoSpa, which you can buy on Amazon.

Spoil your team with holiday gift ideas that center around tranquility and relaxation this year!

4. A Beautiful Plant

Did you know that indoor plants can boost your mood, productivity levels and creative abilities, while reducing stress and minimizing sickness? It’s true!

Obviously, we all need more plants in our lives, which is why beautiful potted pothos and mini desktop gardens are excellent holiday gift ideas. Appreciation Plant Cubes from Baudville are great options, too, and have the added benefit of being super affordable.

Just make sure to choose a plant that’s easy to maintain. The last thing you want to do is give your employees another chore to complete on a daily basis.

So, when doing your research, look for  plants that are easy to take care of, even for those without the greenest thumb in town.

5. A Meaningful Book

Books make for great holiday gifts. The key, as with gift cards, is to give the right book to the right person.

What do your employees like to do in their free time? What goals do they want to achieve in the next year or two? Non-fiction books that speak to these things would be wonderful gifts. For example, if one of your teachers sells jewelry on Etsy, she might really appreciate a book about entrepreneurship and growing a side hustle.

Novels can be excellent holiday gift ideas, too, because they offer an escape from reality — something we all need from time to time.

Again, take your employees’ preferences into account. If they like sci-fi and fantasy, buy them a book about weird creatures in an imaginary world. If they enjoy reading romance novels, buy them a book where two people fall in love.

6. Paid Time Off

This is one of the best holiday gift ideas because it will give your staff the time they need to relax, spend time with family and friends or accomplish projects around the house without worrying about paying the bills.

The question you need to ask yourself is, “how much paid time off (PTO) should I give my team?” The answer depends on your current situation.

Is your business in a strong position, financially speaking? Then maybe you can afford to give your teachers a full week of PTO. If money is tight, a day or two might be a better option for you. Don’t worry, your teachers will still appreciate the gesture.

Remember, if you’re going to give teachers PTO, you’ll probably need to bring in a few people to replace them while they’re gone. Make sure you account for this expense as well.

Also, you probably don’t want to give all of your staff members PTO at the same time. Work with your employees to plan their time off on different weeks. That way your daycare isn’t a complete madhouse while your staff is away.

7. A Handwritten Note

Nothing says “I appreciate you!” quite like a handwritten note. Why? Because holiday gift ideas of this nature are so rare.

Think about it. When was the last time someone used pen and paper to write you a letter that you could hold in your own two hands? We’re guessing it’s been a while.

These days, almost all communication is digital — video calls, emails, text messages. Handwritten notes are different. They stand out and demand to be noticed. 

The best thing about handwritten notes is they don’t cost much. This means you can add them to each of the gifts we mentioned above and really impress your staff this year.

‘Wrapping’ Up and Looking Ahead to Next Year!

The child care industry lost a third of its employees during the pandemic. Finding and retaining good staff is the biggest hurdle facing child care providers today. Show your valued teachers and other employees how much you appreciate their hard work!

And treat yourself to some savings … Procare Solutions is offering end-of-the-year offers to help you get your child care business off to a great start in 2022. Request a demo now to see how you can save money and optimize your business!

About The Author

Amelia Schrader

Amelia is the Director of Demand Generation at Procare Solutions. A graduate of University of Colorado at Boulder with a Bachelor of Business Administration (Marketing emphasis), Amelia spends her free time outdoors with her husband and their energetic goldendoodle, Finn.

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