The Best Gifts for Daycare Teachers (For All Occasions!)


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For many families, a daycare or preschool teacher becomes an important part of their child’s life. When it comes time to recognize those teachers, you want to ensure your gift ideas are creative and well-received. So what can you give for one or multiple daycare teachers?

The key to a great daycare teacher gift is personalization and customization. There are many great gift ideas you can give without breaking the bank or giving a boring gift. You should also remember to include gifts for any daycare helpers that your child has bonded with because they may spend as much (or more) time with her as the teacher.

Keep reading to find out more about when to give your child’s teachers a little something special and the perfect gifts for each occasion!

Daycare provider gift etiquette

The best place to start with any gift etiquette is the budget.

The typical price range for a daycare teacher gift is from $15 to $25, and if purchasing multiple gifts for teachers and daycare helpers then a price range of about $10 to $20 per teacher should do the trick. 

You’ll want to put both your name and your child’s name on the tag, and involve your child in making or picking out the gift whenever possible.

Should I get a gift for daycare teachers?

Always remember that gifts are totally optional and if you truly can’t afford to purchase one then don’t do it.

With that said, it is always best to purchase a gift for your child’s teacher when possible!

Your child’s teachers are very involved in their daily lives. If you work, your child may be spending upwards of 9-10 hours a day with them. This means that in addition to teaching your child their ABCs and 123s, they may be handling the duties of food preparation, potty training, nap time cuddles, and even discipline. You definitely don’t want these efforts to go unnoticed. Giving a gift for daycare teachers is always a great idea! 

While you obviously want your main motivation to be one of kindness and appreciation, it can also be beneficial for your child’s relationship with their teacher(s) if they feel loved and appreciated by you.

Teachers tend to remember which parents they have a stronger relationship with and may even treat those children with a little extra attention. And if you’ve gotten off to a rocky start, giving a gift to recognize your teacher’s efforts can also help smooth over any difficulties or miscommunication that may have occurred throughout the year.

Should I get a gift for daycare helpers?

This highly depends on the school itself and how many people work there.

So what about daycare helpers? Should they receive a gift of appreciation too? It depends on the number of helpers in your child’s classroom. The fewer helpers, the more likely they are to have spent quality time with your child. If there is one your child is particularly fond of, a gift is definitely appropriate. 

If your child has 5 or 6 different daycare room helpers that float in and out during the week, it might not be reasonable or cost-effective to get each one of them a gift. (One alternative is purchasing a classroom gift, you can find more info on that down below.)

On the other hand, if their classroom has 2-3 dedicated helpers who your child spends the majority of their time with and has really bonded with, it is a sweet gesture to recognize them as well.

Gift ideas for daycare teachers and helpers

The best way to make a gift-giving occasion even better? Personalizing it. Some schools even provide a list of each teacher’s favorites at the beginning of the school year, or you can ask the classroom parent for this information if the class has one. Or perhaps you just know your teacher’s preferences through getting to know them during the year.

Thinking of ways to personalize your gift(s) for each teacher will go a long way towards ensuring your gift is loved and not just dumped in the trash or tucked in a closet alongside the other dozen cheesy teacher gifts. 

Gift ideas for daycare teachers

Your child’s daycare teacher is going to be a big part of your child’s life and you should thank them for the hard work they do with a gift.

Personalized Yeti Cups – This is the modern version of the old school cliché teacher mug! Give them a cup they will actually want to use and that will keep their drinks cold. You can easily get one personalized with their name or a cute design at an online mom and pop shop or on Amazon (right here).

Personalized Desk Supplies – Think mousepads, clipboards, letter trays, calendars, or succulent planters. You could get these items personalized with their initials or name to make a cute gift even sweeter.

Chocolate Gift Basket – Because you can’t go wrong with chocolate! Make a trip to your local grocery store and grab some delicious treats to fill up a small basket or jar. These are also available online here.

Gift Cards – One practical gift for any teacher is to give a gift card to popular teaching and classroom resources they will use like Scholastic or Teachers Pay Teachers. Bonus – your child gets to benefit from whatever they pick too!

Gift ideas for daycare helpers

Daycare helpers are just as important as the teacher and you should acknowledge them with a sweet gift.

Custom Gift Basket – This is a great option especially if you have to make a basket for more than one teacher and don’t want to spend a ton. You could easily make a quick trip to the dollar store (or the Target dollar section!) and pick up some goodies to stuff a small basket, mug or cup. Think hand sanitizer, mints, candy, fuzzy socks, candles, pens, etc. Tag it with a cute pun (see Pinterest for a plethora of ideas!), add some ribbon and call it a day.

Gift Cards – When you work full-time with kids all day, you probably don’t have much energy left to cook! Try to find out your daycare helpers’ favorite restaurants or drive-throughs and pick up a $10 or $20 gift card to cover their dinner or lunch.

Handmade Crafts / Cards – They help your child make them for you; so now it’s time to return the favor! When you have more than 1 classroom helper to give a gift, it can be much easier on your wallet to have your child make them a gift. You’ll only need to supply the paper, scissors, stickers, etc. which you may already have at home! In addition to cute cards, you and your child could make crafts like a paper mache box, paper flowers, or a decorated picture frame.

Mason Jar Baking Kit – These cute and convenient gifts are all the rage! Combine all the ingredients needed for a delicious cake, batch of cookies, or sheet of brownies and create a custom recipe card to go along with it. Attach a cute baking spatula or whisk to top it all off. It is best to make these yourself but you can also find them online!

Shared gift ideas for multiple daycare teachers

If your child has more than one teacher, instead of purchasing or making individual gifts you may want to consider purchasing a gift they can all share. 

Snacks Gift Basket – It can be hard for teachers to get a proper lunch break, let alone time for snacks! The delivery of a giant box of snacks and candies to your child’s classroom is sure to put a big smile on the teacher’s faces. They’ll just have to find a way to hide it from all the kids!

Cookie Delivery – Cookie delivery companies are increasing in popularity in many major cities! Some companies even include the delivery of ice cream or cold milk for dunking. Who can resist the smell of warm, freshly baked cookies?

Edible Arrangements – If you want to provide a healthier option, Edible Arrangements and similar companies offer the delivery of fruit pieces cut into adorable shapes and arranged in a unique bouquet fashion. Some basket options even include chocolate-covered fruit!

Coffee & Donuts – Daycare providers have to wake up early! If your child has a large number of teachers and aides in their classroom, or if you want to bless the whole school, everyone loves a coffee and donut delivery in the morning! This is also perfect for when you just want to acknowledge the teachers outside of any major event or milestone.

When to give daycare teachers gifts

There are a few different occasions when you may want to give your child’s daycare teachers a little special gift. In addition to those “just because” moments, here are some other times you may want to purchase or make a daycare teacher gift for holidays, the first (and last) day of daycare, National Childcare Appreciation Day, and any time that your child’s teacher may be leaving long-term.

Holidays

Most parents choose to give their child’s teachers presents during whichever holidays they and their school celebrate.

This could be Christmas, Hannukah, Easter, or Valentine’s Day. The December holidays are a fantastic time to give gift cards or homemade baked goods, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to make handmade cards and give some sweet candy.

First day of daycare

Many families chose to give their child’s teachers a little “welcome” gift to start the year off on the right foot.

This can be a little tricky when you don’t know your child’s teacher yet and aren’t sure what kind of treats they like or what kinds of items they prefer to receive. This is a good time to give a more generic gift such as cute classroom supplies or a coffee mug and gift card.

Last day of daycare

The last day of school can be an emotional one for many parents! Especially if this was your child’s first foray into any kind of education, you likely have a great deal of appreciation and sentiment towards your child’s teacher. Their first teacher sets the groundwork for their relationships with all their teachers throughout the rest of their lives! If your child had an amazing teacher who has loved them and helped them grow for a year or more – you definitely want to spoil them!

This is the time to really put some thought into their gifts, perhaps personalizing them and even including a heartfelt letter or some photos. You could even get your child in on the fun and return the favor for all those personalized Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day crafts your teacher helped them make for you! 

Daycare teacher’s last day

Turnover in the daycare field can sometimes be quite high, either because they are pursuing other employment, moving away, or going on maternity leave.

If you know that your child’s teacher will be leaving before the end of the year, you may want to send them a little going-away present. If your child and their teacher were particularly close, this is also a fun time to send cards, letters, crafts, or photos. 

National Child Care Provider Appreciation Day

Did you know there is actually a National Child Care Provider Appreciation Day? Conveniently scheduled for the Friday before Mother’s Day, this holiday is a perfect opportunity to recognize your child’s teachers for all that they do.

You want them to know that the role they play in your child’s life is appreciated, and what better way than with a gift?

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