Parenting | The Saturday Weekly Review

Should You Give Your Daycare Provider a Holiday Bonus? : The Saturday Weekend Review #150

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Christmas Bonus

Is There Such A Thing As Holiday Bonus Etiquette?

Other than giving Christmas gifts not all parents have heard about giving their daycare provider a holiday bonus.

Not everyone is fortunate to get a holiday bonus at the end of the year which means relying on the budget is the ideal way to go.

If you are self-employed or a contractor you have to look out for yourself in the world of employment which means you can set guidelines and rules for your customers.

It’s not only the daycare provider many are unsure about when it comes to giving a holiday bonus either.

If you are fortunate to have a maid, nanny, groundskeeper or other contracted service people working for you giving them a holiday bonus is nice but not necessarily required.

Related: Do you get a Christmas Bonus or do you Budget?

When you work for a large company or organization you may find that your employer is generous and may gift you a holiday bonus.

You’ll still be paying taxes on it as well if it’s not cash.

On the other hand you may have a Grinch for a boss so you’ll get nothing except maybe a pat on the back.

I don’t take offense to this though because not all business owners are ready to hand out a holiday bonus to their employees.

Vacation pay is one thing where a holiday bonus is another.

Times may be tough especially small businesses in local communities that are struggling because of big box stores dominating the consumer scene.

Some employees do understand and would rather have a job than wondering how they will pay the bills or where they will find work.

In all my years of working I was given grocery gift cards and turkeys both of which I never expected.

My employers were good to me for the most part and always took care of the employees.

A small holiday bonus was a nice Christmas gesture but most of us didn’t expect it.

My wife on the other hand worked for an employer who would give a holiday bonus to the tune of $1000 at the end of the year.

It was a magical time for many families who came to rely on the holiday bonus to pay for food and Christmas gifts.

Over the years as the company grew the holiday bonus was structured, then shrunk and before she moved on it had disappeared completely.

The holiday bonus system was no longer sustainable.

It was tough on the employees who banked on the money but for new employees, they would have no idea what they’ve missed.

This caused a bit of disconnect with disgruntled employees who said they needed the money.

Some would say that the company should continue to pay even a small holiday bonus where others were fine with it since the company put on an elaborate Christmas party with gifts, even for the kids.

One fan wrote to me last week asking me for advice about giving a holiday bonus to her at-home daycare provider.

My wife stays home with our son so we don’t get into the daycare scene however we have chatted with a few parents who all have different opinions on this topic.

Dear Mr.CBB

I belong to a small mom’s group in our city where all of our kids go to the same in-home daycare provider.

The woman who watches our children is lovely and does an amazing job with them. We’ve been with our daycare provider for 5 months now so not even a year.

The problem I have is that a few of the moms are paying her two weeks pay for a holiday bonus where I feel that is too much.

She does require us to pay for days missed when our child does not show up to daycare or if we go on holidays but that is all.

My husband and I were going to give her a card made by our 13-month-old son plus a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant for Christmas.

I’ll be honest and say that I feel guilty for giving so little and if the other parents find out I will be mortified.

They seem to think we are made of money since my husband has a good job.

It’s hard to put on a “rich face” when that’s not the case at all.

We are in debt to the tune of $100,000 and then some and it’s hard to keep up some months so the extra money really would help us.

Should we pay off our debt or pay the daycare provider a two-week holiday bonus?

Any suggestions from you or the readers will be great.


Holiday Bonus Dilemma

My wife has friends who have given the equivalent of two weeks pay for a holiday bonus at Christmas to their daycare provider along with a gift.

That means if you pay your daycare provider $150 a week to watch your child you would give them a $300 holiday bonus if you followed the above suggestion of two weeks’ pay.

Other parents we know give nothing because they can’t afford to and there’s nothing wrong with that either.

There are no hard and fast rules about giving out a cash holiday bonus to anyone especially a big enough bonus to cover the holidays.

I understand that for self-employed daycare providers when the kids are not coming to their home over the Christmas holidays they may lose the pay they would typically get from the parents.

On the other hand, many would say that is the line of work they chose to get into so they should budget for limited income during December.

Even though the parents may be saving money by having their kids home from daycare owners ask parents to provide a holiday bonus for those weeks away right from the start.

Many parents rely on the extra money they will save to pay for their Christmas festivities.

This money may also cover when the parents keep the kids home over the Christmas holidays or if the parents go on vacation and pull their kids from daycare.

Most facilities ask that you pay for your child’s spot even when you pull them to go on vacation but not when the employee goes on vacation.

Essentially you are paying for 2 daycare providers during the time your main daycare provider is on vacation unless of course, the parent(s) are home on holiday themselves.

What ends up happening for some parents is they are forced to take holidays at the same time IF they even have vacation days to take.

This is a controversial topic in the daycare world because not everyone agrees with this.

Not everyone gets vacation time from their employer until after a certain amount of years of employment although a vacation pay account builds during that time.

Every province/territories have different rules for vacation pay in Canada.

Some daycare providers will ask for a paid vacation right from the start which is different from a holiday bonus and is very common.

This means the daycare provider will go on vacation, the parents pay for their normal daycare costs and still have to find someone to watch their kids.

However, this is a controversial topic in the daycare world between parents and home daycare providers.

I also considered whether there would be daycare providers who pick favourites over the other kids because their parents offer a holiday bonus or other perks.

I know that sounds outrageous but believe me, I’m sure it happens.

Money talks for some people and loud.

If you plan to keep your kid in daycare we were told it’s best to pay up the holiday bonus and vacation pay to secure an ongoing spot for your child.

That’s a bit odd to me since it sounds like you’re paying them off to keep them happy.

I’d probably steer clear of any daycare like this.

Keep in mind some daycare facilities may not allow parents to offer cash gifts to the teachers so it’s always best to ask.

My sister-in-law was only allowed to send homemade gifts to the daycare facility her son went to and if she went on vacation she still had to pay for the time her son was not in daycare.

She never had to pay for the employees’ vacation pay since this was the employers’ responsibility.

Should you budget for Christmas?

Yes, you should, especially if you want to stay away from creating debt since some people use credit cards and other money loans to fund the holidays.

It’s important to know all the financial facts BEFORE you sign on the dotted line with a daycare.

Holiday Bonus Christmas Gift Ideas

Should you give a Christmas gift to your daycare provider?

Sure you can do this instead of or combined with a cash bonus (if you so choose to offer one)

It may be a hand-made card from the kids with a box of chocolates, homemade baked goods, a grocery gift card or a gift card for a mom to pamper herself.

If you are a coupon/deals expert and have a stockpile of health and beauty products at home you could create a gift basket topped off with chocolates or other items you know he/she may like.

Alternate options would be to give a gift card to a restaurant, bookstore, movies, coffee shop, the mall or have your kids make something special like a Christmas tree ornament.

Maybe your daycare provider enjoys a nice glass of wine with dinner so this is also a gift option.

Lottery tickets are also big favourites for Christmas bonus gift ideas.

If your daycare provider has assistants that work with him/her you may consider a Christmas gift/card for them as well.

Does A Holiday Bonus Fit Your Budget?

This is what seems to be the norm from the moms we’ve talked to in our area who either run a daycare or have kids in daycare.

You shouldn’t feel pressured to give a holiday bonus/gift nor should you feel guilty if you cannot offer one.

At the end of the day, It’s the thought that counts and remember it’s not always about the money, it’s the recognition employees seek.

Discussion: Should daycare providers get a Holiday Bonus from the parents?

Leave me your comments below and I’ll be sure to respond to you.


CBB Week At A Glance

This week has been pretty good for us as we were able to spend some quality time together as a family.

I did manage to get the lighted wreath up outside and finish some bits around the house.

This week I took a day off although I’m not feeling the best and neither is my wife.

We did manage to bring our son to the gym where he had a fun-filled 2 hours of running around with friends.

Getting him out of the house for some exercise is great even during the winter months.

For the $10 fee, it costs for all 3 of us to get in we don’t mind doing this plus he gets to interact with other children.

My wife did some shopping yesterday at the outlet malls in Toronto and scored a couple of pre-Christmas bargains for herself where she saved 75% off the original ticketed price.

Even I was amazed but I admit I nearly fainted when she showed me the $139.99 price tags on the 2 jackets she bought.

I smiled then she said, of course, I didn’t pay that. Phew! Of course, she didn’t.

Our trip to see Santa was an epic fail as our son had a meltdown on his lap.

We tried twice but it was a no-go so we will go back and try again on Monday as I am on vacation again (insert smile).

Last year it was great as our son smiled for the camera in one go, this year not so much.

Ah well, he’s more aware now and I likely would be afraid of a guy dressed in red with a big beard too.

I have my schedule for next year and so far it looks like I will still be working 7 days a week.

That means I will be busier than busy but the great thing is the hours are not too long so I can still enjoy writing for the blog, my family and taking care of the house.

That was our week. How was yours?

Published This Week

Just in case you’ve missed any of my blog posts this week I will share them all below.

If you are looking for past Saturday Weekend Review posts scroll down to the bottom of this post where I will list up to 5 previous weeks for you to read.

If you have a question that you would like to ask Mr.CBB fill out the Contact Mr.CBB form on the Home Page and send in your questions.

If you want to share a story via a Fan Question only please ensure that there are a minimum of 500 words and lots of details…we love details!

Budget Brags

free water cooler colleen

Submit your Deal or Brag:

Saving money while grocery shopping is essential in the CBB family and that’s why we share our grocery shops every week in The Grocery Game Challenge 2015.

What I love the most is when my fans share their amazing shops with me whether it be groceries or other deals they find at a garage sale, online or freebies!!!

If you have a brag that you want me to share email me at canadianbudgetbinder@yahoo.(ca) < remove brackets) or fill out my contact form by Friday each week to have your brag considered for the Saturday post.

Hi Mr.CBB and Fans!

Friends of ours were tossing this water cooler because they did not use it anymore.

The water cooler works perfect so I jumped in to grab it as ours no longer cools like it supposed to.

This frugal score has saved us over $100 in our budget instead of buying a new one for our kitchen.

-Colleen K.

Making A Difference (MAD)

Note: If you are a personal finance blogger (anywhere around the world) and would like your blog to be MAD featured simply drop me an email and I’ll explain the process to you.

This is my way of giving back to the personal finance community through networking and sharing knowledge with my fans. Today it is my pleasure to share with you Life and a Budget.

Life and a Budget Blog

Hi Mr. CBB and Fans!!

My name is Latoya and I’m the voice behind Life and A Budget, a personal finance blog created for millennials who share like-minded pursuits of eliminating student debt through the art of side-hustling.

It is an honor to be featured here on Canadian Budget Binder this week!

I grew up in a financially illiterate household that focused on consumption and getting by until the next payday came around. Savings and creating generational wealth were obsolete topics — something I learned about once I left the nest.

In college, I made my share of bad financial decisions by living beyond my means and financing life through student loans. It was encouraged because I was doing what was considered “right”. 

I was in college getting an education and this wasn’t something my parents could afford.  How else was I going to get my degree?

The problem was, I was borrowing more than I needed to obtain my education.  I was financing clothes for the semester, computers, books, and groceries. 

What makes things worse is that I even had a job in the last year of college! I was simply irresponsible with money. 

I didn’t need extra student loans, but I took the refund checks anyway, in addition to a wallet full of credit cards.

In the end, I walked away with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, plus $79,000 in debt.

Personal finance, to me, is all about living life on a budget. Therefore, I created Life and A Budget to document my journey to freedom from student loan debt, while still living life abundantly.

I hope to encourage the next young college student to make wise financial decisions before they walk across the graduation stage.

I also want to aspire college graduates like myself, who’ve obtained an obscene amount of debt, that it is possible to pay this debt off and live to tell about it.

I’ve seen others do it and I’m determined to do the same, no matter how long it takes.

Frugal Recipe


Food and grocery shopping is a BIG part of CBB because food is a large part of the budget which people struggle the most with.

If you are someone who would rather buy convenience meals or products consider cooking homemade meals or baking from scratch.

Not only will you save money but you will be proud of what you accomplished and you’ll see that from the smiles on those you feed.

If you don’t already know I have a second Facebook page called The Free Recipe Depot where I share recipes from other Food Bloggers from around the world.

I also share recipes on the blog once a week on Sundays either made by my in-house home blog cook Nicola Don or myself. This is a fun, interactive blog where we talk about everything that happens in our world.

This week our Top Recipe Pick goes to Lizzy over at Your Cup of Cake where she shows us how to Decorate Ornament Sugar Cookies for Christmas!

Top DIY Project

This week I logged into Facebook only to find the one and only Nicola Don sharing her creative flair with Christmas crafts.

This year she wanted to go with the Grinch theme can create this beautiful window painting for her home.

She’s decorated it with lights and as you can see it’s a stunner!

grinch window painting for Christmas

This is what Nicola says about her window art. Well done Nicola, very creative.

grinch pinterest photo

I found the picture on Pinterest, and just did it free hand where I outlined it first in a white window crayon then filled it in.

crayola windor writer pens(1)Just in case you are wondering what Nicola used to draw on the window and colour it in she’s given me a photo below of the

  • Crayola Window Writer Pens
  • Window Crayons
  • China Markers

The Crayola pens and crayons she purchased at Walmart where the China markers came from Staples for $6. She uses various techniques to bring the art to life.

This talent would be a great way to earn extra income for Nicola.

Saturday Google Giggles

Every week I have thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog.

If you notice any spelling errors below they are intentional.

I share with you the exact way they typed their search engine query to land on my blog.

  • Two Positive Dollar Store Pregnancy Tests– I’m going to say… Congratulations then! Sometimes I think women hope the internet will talk to them when they are unsure but your doctor is your best bet.
  • How to make money in Canada– Get a job! Sometimes the most obvious skips our minds I suppose.
  • Need an extra $5000 a month– You better have an amazing income, career, product idea or win the lottery!
  • Should you sell your house to become mortgage-free– Well, that’s one way of doing it, lol.
  • Buying second-hand clothes is funny– I fail to see the humour in this one but to each their own I suppose.

That’s all for this week’s friends but be back here next Saturday to enjoy the next edition in the Saturday Weekend Review Series.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my daily blog post by entering your email address on the home page and verifying the subscription email once it is sent to you.

Note***If you don’t verify the subscription via the email I send you right after you subscribe you won’t get my daily blog post*** I’d hate to not have you here so please click Subscribe in the email.


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