Saying goodbye to a caregiver

There are some moments parents don’t forget: Baby’s first words, their first steps, and the first day you had to hand them off to someone new. That day was probably filled with apprehension for both you and Baby – you wanted to know they were in good hands, and they were only just adjusting to a new environment.

Over time, Baby’s caregiver has become someone you’ve trusted to wipe their tears and look after them when you weren’t there to do it yourself. If it’s time to say goodbye now, you may find yourself just as choked up as you were on that very first day.

Whether Baby is aging out of the daycare program they were in, your family is moving, or you no longer have the need for childcare, there’s a good chance it’s just as difficult for Baby’s provider to part ways with your child now that a bond has been formed. To ease the transition – and to show appreciation to Baby’s provider – here are some ideas to express your gratitude both now and later.

  • A “thank you” gift: If you’d like to present Baby’s caregiver with a gift, a gift card or donation to the center in their name are always a great way to say thanks.
  • Homemade art: You know those little projects Baby brought home during their time in the program? Now is a great time to return that favor by leading Baby in your own project at home. Each child is unique, and Baby’s provider might like something as personal as an art project as a reminder of Baby’s personality.
  • Put it on paper: If you can’t find the words to say in person, try jotting down a nice note for Baby’s caregiver. Is it that you feel Baby has learned a lot, that they were happy when you picked them up at the end of the day, or something else that stands out? Let them know in a card.
  • Keep it going: Just because Baby is physically leaving their care doesn’t mean the relationship has to end on the spot. If you’re comfortable doing so, tell Baby’s provider you’d be happy to write a letter of recommendation or a referral, if one is needed in the future. If this is an especially close relationship you don’t want to lose, you can also offer to keep them updated on Baby’s progress over the years – pictures and updates are a nice reminder that you’re thinking of them.

Though rewarding, caring for children can sometimes feel thankless, so a nice goodbye that shows your gratitude can go a long way. Over the years, Baby will have caregivers and teachers that go the extra mile, and letting them know you’re grateful is appreciated when it’s time to say goodbye. A little gesture can be a big deal when it comes to letting them know they made a difference in your child’s life!

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