Daycare - gifts for fellow kids and teachers? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 11-05-2011, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
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My son started daycare in September (he's almost 3).  He's in a classroom with 23 other kids and 3 teachers.  I've never had a child in daycare and I really have no clue about the etiquette.  At Thanksgiving one little girl left a wrapped up book in each of the other kids boxes and it said '(girl's name) is thankful for her friends!'.  At Halloween there were several little baggies of treats left in each box.  I have yet to bring in any sort of gift to share with the other kids.  Am I supposed to?  The next big holiday is Christmas and I really am not sure what I should be doing..

I'm also totally unsure about gifts for the teachers.  What type of gift should I get?  There are 3 teachers and I'm a single parent and student so I have very little money for extra gifts.  I love his teachers, they really are awesome.  And I can say that in a card and get them a small gift (how small is too small?)  And is that enough?  (and then there is also the woman who does all the snacks and meals..  should I get her something?)


Advice please!

Mama to my charming little boy, born at home January '09
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#2 of 8 Old 11-05-2011, 06:52 PM
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For gifts for other kids, I have had some parents who do this for holidays (Halloween goody bag with stickers etc.) but I've never done it. In my experience, many of those parents are teachers and they get stuff in bulk for their class and just get extra for this purpose. Totally optional and I would not worry about that at all, I just say thank you to the parents if I run into them.


Gifts for teachers for holidays depends a lot on the culture of the daycare from what I've found by asking around. I personally have done small gift cards for all the teachers who work regularly in DS's class (there are usually two teachers and one assistant), I just give the same amount with a card. I think the first year I gave $25 each (DS had only been there for 2 months before Dec), but I don't think the amount matters that much as the thought. Have you tried asking other parents at the daycare what they do? I know it's kind of an awkward question to ask but... you could also try asking the office people/administrative staff if they have any rules about gifts or if they know what most parents do so you can get an idea.

Mom to DS born 6/09 and DS2 born 6/12

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#3 of 8 Old 11-06-2011, 02:03 PM
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I have been a daycare teacher and also been the parent with little money!


I think one of the best things you could do is a handmade gift (one favorite we did was "snowman soup" we layed the ingredients to make the cocoa inside an empty jelly jar and taped a candy cane to the side along with the poem and DS covered it with stickers - really cute!) and then a letter (copied to the teacher's boss also!) thanking them and giving specific examples of how your child is learning from them.


Cookies is always good - plus they can be shared between all the teachers and helpers so nobody is left out.


Gift cards are expensive (I've yet to give these, but, will probably do so this year since I'm going to have a newborn or be very very pregnant and not feel up to handmade goodies) but they are good too - as a teacher it was nice getting ones to craft stores etc, because we bought a lot of our own supplies so it helped out that way. Also cards for coffee were good ;-)


Some other nice things were handmade things for the home (dish towels/pot holders etc), a bottle of whine even lol, and pretty/inspirational "office" supplies (sticky notes, pens, note pads etc - again something we could use at the school, but, it was just ours)


AND-- pictures of the kid/family are always welcome!




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#4 of 8 Old 11-06-2011, 03:55 PM
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I always get a little gift card to Starbucks or some other nearby coffee shop for the teachers ($5-$10 depending on what I can afford) at Christmas, Valentine's day, and on teacher appreciation day.  I also try to grab a box of good doughnuts, some really nice chocolates, and on occasion a coffee shop gift card once a month or so because I do tend to talk to the teachers whenever I want a problem resolved quickly and also because they have a hard job that most people look down on so I feel like they need something special in their lives too. 


My dd is in school age care now so things for other kids isn't an issue right now, but the only time I ever brought anything for the children was when they did the Valentine's day boxes and that was usually a cheap card and a piece of candy stuck to.  I don't think the kids need to feel appreciated the way the teacher's do.

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#5 of 8 Old 11-10-2011, 06:08 AM
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I haven't brought anything in for other kids and I don't think that it is expected, occasionally someone will send in cupcakes for everyone to share for a birthday, but that's about it. For Christmas last year, I gave one $50 gift card to the director and then one $50 one to the caregivers in her room to share, both from a restaurant I do design work for. I knew they liked that restaurant, so it was like I bought lunch for them, but they could use it when they wanted to. I think food gifts are great, but they tend to get so much of that around Christmas, I thought a gift card would be nice so they could use it when they wanted. Doing a separate gift card for each person was not practical, the Infant I, II and Toddler I rooms are all one big room gated from each other and the way their schedules work, I would have felt obligated to give 8-10 people something. That was too much for me, so I just went with a gift card they could share to all get lunch together which I knew they did frequently anyway.

If I have time this year, I might bake cookies too as I love to bake and I know they would appreciate it, but I will probably go the gift card route again.

Katie trekkie.gif - Married to Mike 06/02/01, Mom to Sydney Anne born 11/21/09 and Alice Maeryn & Oliver Thomas born 04/24/13  hug.gif 



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#6 of 8 Old 11-16-2011, 10:57 AM
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I've never heard of giving gifts to other children in the preschool.  Our preschool doesn't allow sugary treats so no one brought in candy for the kids at Halloween.  The only exception is Valentine's Day - we can give out cards to the other kids and that is actually fun.  Last year, DD couldn't write, but we made our own cards and talked about the alphabet when picking out letter stickers to spell out the other kids' names. 


Our preschool has 2 main teachers and 2 student aids.  The teachers were amazing (beyond what I expected) last year when DD was having trouble adjusting to preschool so I'm as generous as I can with them for the holidays - I give the primary teachers $50 gift cards to stores I know they like, smaller gift cards ($15) to the students to area coffee shops or Amazon and bring in some chocolates for the office staff to share (who help out sometimes too).  DD makes a card for each person too.  At the end of the year last year, I gave the teachers these really awesome homemade, all natural soap and oil sets I found at the farmers' market and brought in some more  yummies for the office (the student teachers had left by that time).

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#7 of 8 Old 11-18-2011, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice.  I'm not going to worry about gifts for his classmates but I may bring cupcakes in to share on his b-day.  I still haven't decided about Christmas gifts..  I may get gift cards for the 3 teachers and then bake cookies for the office/kitchen staff.  I really do love his teachers and want them to know that!  I was thinking also of getting DS to help make cards for each of them.

Mama to my charming little boy, born at home January '09
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#8 of 8 Old 11-18-2011, 06:42 PM
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Hi there, I might be posting a little late but just wanted to add my 2 cents...


As a former teacher (middle school, not preschool) at an independent school I received two kinds of gifts over the holidays - 1. a cash gift organized and collected by one designated class parent from all (or most) of the families.  And 2. Small gifts from individual families.  The cash was of course really nice, it was always over $200.  But the smaller gifts were usually lovely as well, especially if they were coming from the kids themselves (not that they actually bought them per se, but that they helped decide what would be nice and/or actually had a clue what was wrapped up in the gift bag they were handing me).  Translated to a preschool level to me this means the child might draw on the card or the wrapping paper to participate in some way to say 'thank you for being my teacher'.


As far as the small gifts themselves they included a big bar of chocolate, a mug and tea combo, food (jam, homemade cookies), a gift card to a small local bookstore, a gc to a big box book store, once a gc to a donut shop chain and many gift cards to that coffee shop chain, and office supplies.  Because I prefer small gifts from local places I really liked the jam and the gift certificate from a small bookstore but would rather not have had the bigger box store gifts or the candy, the donuts or the mug (which ended up as clutter as it really wasn't my taste).  The coffee shop gcs were always nice too.  Once thing that really bugged me (sorry previous posters!) was giving office supplies as gifts.  As a teacher you end up buying a lot for your classroom from your own pocket (even if you do work in an Independent School like I did!)  but there is something really wrong with that in my opinion (and our society!  but that is another thread entirely) and so I could have done without the extra postits....even if they came from a heartfelt place.


As far as gift card amounts go I am thinking a $25 gift cards from a local bookstore plus a fancy chocolate bar will be what I give my son's preschool teachers this year.  I feel a little bad about this, like it might be too impersonal, but we will have a new baby coming the week after Thanksgiving so maybe this will be a good choice for us this year.  I do think $15 would be fine also.  Anything less seems like a skimpy non-present in my opinion.  If money is the issue then something homemade, like cookies (or once someone made homemade marshmallows!) would be the way to go.  Or a nicely composed card listing all of the reasons you or your child value the teacher.  Once as a teacher I received a $5 gc for a donut shop chain and I felt a little undervalued.  And let's face it, a $5 gc to the coffee shop will buy you just one grande fancy coffee.  Better to have a homemade card and forget the plastic gc.  Now of course it is the thought that counts!  But in my opinion small, personalized and heartfelt is better.

Mommy to one beautiful boy, born 9/28/08
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