I had a request to write a post on holiday gift ideas for teachers or childcare providers, and I have to admit my first thought was: oh
shit dear. As in, oh dear, I have to get a gift for Riley’s daycare teachers? Honestly, I hadn’t even considered doing so.
We have in the past (in the form of a card with a cash tip inside) when Riley had one main teacher who we really liked, but now he’s got several people wrangling his classroom, and I don’t even know most of their names. They all seem like they sincerely care for him, though, and after a few recent hiccups with staffing problems everyone seems competent and overall we’re really happy with his center. So, to gift or not to gift? Maybe a largish present (lots of delicious cookies?) the whole staff can enjoy?
As I ponder this, and hope that you can give me some advice on the subject, here are some gift ideas I have run across, should you be looking to do something special for your kid’s favorite teacher or caregiver this holiday season.
Gift cards. One of my favorite bloggers posted the question about what gifts might be most appropriate for teachers, and many people suggested gift cards—to Barnes & Noble, Amazon, a local restaurant, maybe even a spa for a pedicure. Seems like a good, no-brainer way to say “I care (about your toenails)”.
Letter of appreciation. Okay, so it might not be as cool as a box of imported chocolates, but a heartfelt note of thanks probably has better long-term effects anyway. If the person works at a childcare center, you could send a copy to their boss, too. With a suggestion that this person deserves a damn raise, because you know those teachers aren’t seeing much of the enormous checks a typical center takes in each month. (Also, a hand-written note from your kid, assuming they’re old enough to do so.)
A pretty ornament. I’m not sure if this is potentially a bad move considering not everyone celebrates the holidays in the same way and maybe some people don’t like ornaments, I DON’T KNOW, but I could see this being a nice gift. Something they might even keep and bring out each holiday season for years to come.
Gifts for the classroom. Art supplies, books, games, toys, puzzles, etc. I imagine most classrooms could use this sort of thing, and even if it’s not specifically for your kid’s teacher, they’ll probably appreciate it.
Some handy links on this subject: Berkeley Parents Network, Working Moms Refuge, FlyLady.net.
Out of the above ideas, I’d go for a gift card (with a note of thanks) if I were buying for one or two teachers. For a larger pool of providers, like in the case of Riley’s daycare, I’m just not sure. Any suggestions?