Here are the findings of the annual Park Slope Parents 2014 Holiday Tips Survey.







  • While economy rebounds, holiday tips stagnate. Three in four (75%) people report giving the same holiday tips as last year.
  • A personal touch still happens. One in four (26%) still give something homemade (cookies, treats, candy) to their service providers.
  • Having kids in Kindergarten to 12th Grade (K-12) invokes the power of the masses. In preschool/daycare the majority (60%) give monetary gifts individually. In K-12 this changes and over half (54%) give money as part of a class gift.
  • Dog walkers are getting lots of treats! Tips for dog walkers average more than building doormen.


REMINDER: The ranges of tips/bonuses vary widely e (e.g., super tips range from $20-$500), but we are only representing the aggregates (average/mode). Tips are based on a variety of things-- a combination of your ability to give, the service providers attitude and extra effort, and more. Giving what you can and what you feel comfortable with, along with sincerely appreciating a job well done goes a long way in making people feel good this holiday season.



Home Related Providers

Average Tip/Gift

Mode*(Most frequently mentioned amount)

House Cleaner

$ 94





Daytime Doorman



Nighttime Doorman



Dog Walker



Parking Attendant






United States Postal Service (USPS) Mail carrier



Package Delivery (United Parcel Service (USPS), FedEx)



 Ancillary Providers


Personal Trainer

--* $100

Exercise Instructor

--* $20

Occasional Babysitter

$60 $50


 $45  $50

*Data points are too few to give a valid average.



78% of respondents say that they give money/gift card as a holiday present.

Type of Teacher

Average Tip/Gift


Preschool/Daycare Head Teacher



Preschool/Daycare Secondary Teacher



K-12 teacher*



Special Services teacher



Afterschool Service Providers



NOTE: Department of Education (DOE) Policy does not mandate an amount for parents to give to K-12 teachers but indicates that the names of everyone in class must be on the class gifts.

*See more about holiday gifts, the do’s and don’ts as well as making it easy on the Park Slope Parents’ website page How To Thank Teachers at the Holidays & End of the Year



Below is that “facts” about nannies and bonuses. I also want to remind folks that giving the average amount of 1 week’s pay is “fine,” but realize this is most likely the ONLY time of the year (since most people give bonuses at the end of the year rather than at the anniversary of the hire date) you get to show your appreciation for a job well done. Does your nanny go above and beyond, staying late without much warning, giving extra effort to make your family’s life easier? Show it by taking some extra time to pick out a great, specialized gift that you know holds importance (and your hand-me-down expensive item doesn’t count) as well as giving her a holiday bonus. Have your child make a special gift. (NOTE: Do not replace money with a gift.) If your nanny has done an outstanding job helping you through some tough transitions (moving, separation, additional kids, school transitions), consider giving more than what is standard if you can. (If you can’t afford it, let them know this and make up for it with other types appreciation). Just like teachers, it’s great to feel really, truly and sincerely appreciated.

If giving a bonus seems arduous, it may be a sign that you’re not really that happy with your nanny’s performance. This is a good time to have a review with your nanny, discuss past and future expectations, give the nanny a chance to do better, and start the new year with both your family and your nanny’s perspectives discussed.

  • 60% give a week’s pay, 15% give two week’s pay, and 25% give an amount unrelated to pay.
  • 96% give money/gift card, with 37% also giving a non-monetary gift. One in five also have a gift that the kids make for the nanny.
  • 20% are paying more than last year (probably due to raises in pay).
  • For families who hired a nanny in the last year (about a quarter of the sample), even those who hired a nanny less than six months ago, plan on giving about 60% of the average amount reported. Those who hired a nanny six-12 months’ report paying close to 90% of the average amount reported.
  • Range $25-$2,500.
  • The vast majority of employers (87%) use the Holidays as an appropriate opportunity to give what they determine as a yearly bonus and gifts (rather than the date of hire anniversary).

Nanny Situation

Average Amount 2014



Full time (over 40 hours/week) (48% of respondents)


Part-time (16-40 hours)     (34% of respondents)


Part-time (up to 15 hours) (18% of respondents)







400 responses were collected from December 3rd - December 8th, 2014 via an online survey program (surveymonkey.com). The survey was distributed online through the Park Slope Parents website, their email groups and social media outlets as well as via published blogs and other online parenting groups. The results are based on tips/gifts in Brooklyn alone.



  • Park Slope Parents (PSP) is a community of more than 5,000 local families who support each other with the parenting experience in Brooklyn, New York.
  • PSP online resources include a public website that houses reviews and parenting advice, online forums including an Advice list (exchanging information about parenting and community issues), a Classifieds list (a buy/sell/trade group for locally swapping kid gear and finding nannies), and a Career Networking Group which connects parents to jobs and resources. It also has over 100 subgroups including pregnancy and new parent groups, dads’ group, SAHMs, bilingual groups, industry-related career groups and more.
  • PSP offers offline events including clothing swaps, festivals, and networking events. PSP also partners with nonprofits such as the Brooklyn Family Justice Center to provide donations to those in need and is a sponsor for community events such as the Celebrate Brooklyn Concerts and Brooklyn Volunteer Fair.
  • Park Slope Parents is open to all parents in Brooklyn and requires an annual membership fee of $40 (to support ongoing services like this Holiday Tips Survey). Membership includes discounts to more than 600 local products and services.
  • Parents looking to join can register here: http://parkslopeparents.clubexpress.com/