Nanny End of Year Bonus: Do’s, Don’ts, and Druthers

Have a Nanny? Here are the ins and outs of year-end bonuses.



1 week’s pay is standard; if you can afford more, great for your nanny.  My guess is that a nanny who has only worked a month or two won’t expect a full week’s pay; but a half of a week would be appreciated. We know it can be tough financially to give a nanny who started in October a whole week’s pay, especially if you are still paying off medical bills from July and had unpaid leave on top of that. Many folks on this group are not wealthy so it’s important not to feel pressure to jeopardize your financial situation. If you don’t pay a week, LET THE NANNY KNOW if you plan on giving more next year.

When do you give the bonus?  The sooner you give the bonus, the sooner they can use it. If you want your nanny to have more time to shop for holiday gifts, giving a bonus earlier can help make that happen.

Many employers also give the nanny paid time off between Christmas and New Year’s (folks are with family or traveling). However, that paid week off doesn’t count as the nanny’s bonus (unless you agreed to this in your work agreement). Do NOT assume a week off without pay is something that your nanny will appreciate. If a nanny is available to work and you give them time off without pay (they would work if you needed them) they could be resentful.

It’s also an added benefit to give a gift—and get them something they will like. You can make the gift from your child(ren) to make it more special. You know your nanny well enough to know what will and won’t be appreciated.  However, you also don’t need to give them a $200 gift if you are giving them $800 (a week’s pay) as a bonus.  Better to be special than costly.   FWIW-- I’ve heard more than one nanny indicate that while they appreciate the expensive ____ (purse, jacket, gloves), they would have rather just had the extra money. Also, giving hand-me-downs can be tricky (I’ve heard of this too)—it’s relationship-dependent for sure so tread lightly.

Most important, though, is that a nanny feel appreciated.  A sincere thank you and asking about your nanny’s family and life go a long way to making them feel like they are valued and not “just” your employee. This is also a good time to reflect on your behavior as an employer.  If you have a habit of coming home late, or forgetting to take out money, a message in a holiday card indicating that you are going to do better in 2018 would, I’m sure, be appreciated.

OTHER ways to say, "THANK YOU" to your nanny:

- Write a list of the reasons your nanny helps your family
- Have the children make something handmade for the nanny
- A surprise day off
- Treat your nanny to breakfast or dinner
- Give your nanny a coupon for a mani-pedi
- Pay for CPR training (and pay them the time it takes for the class)
- Gift card for their favorite store/bookstore, movie theater, restaurant
- A fun night out with friends
- Gift basket of favorite treats
- Tickets to an event your nanny might not otherwise attend (e.g., circus, concert, Disney on Ice)


Related reading:

Nanny Goodbye Gifts (including final compensation and pay)

Year End Gifts for Daycare Providers

Homemade Gift Ideas


Disclaimer: This post has been written for educational purposes only by Park Slope Parents and is not meant to be legal advice and should not be construed as legal advice or be relied upon. The post may contain errors, inaccuracies and/or omissions. We recommend checking with a professional for specific advice.