Open Discussion Forum

1.  Staff incentives

Posted 10-06-2017 01:03 PM
I am looking for some new ideas to show our teaching staff how much they are appreciated.  Each month we do something for our staff such as gift cards, buy them lunch or dinner at a staff meeting, do little fun seasonal goodie bags, etc. We do more elaborate things during teacher appreciation/Week of the Young Child as well.  Looking forward to learning some new ideas!


Kim Spankowski
Education Director
Grandma's House Day Care Center
Brookfield WI

2.  RE: Staff incentives

Posted 10-09-2017 09:32 AM
Hi, Kim.

It's wonderful that you're so focused on appreciating your staff!  I have a couple of (rather grand) ideas:
--complementary memberships in NAEYC/WECA
--have a pampering/self-care focused staff event (perhaps for massages, aromatherapy, meditation)

Laura Simkin
Membership Director
Wisconsin Early Childhood Association
Madison, Wisconsin

3.  RE: Staff incentives

Posted 10-10-2017 12:33 PM

I buy new items from Holly's Ideas, Discount school supply, Dollar Store, Walmart, these items include sticky notes, stickers, sensory items, pens, markers, smelly markers, foam pieces, a new book, pipe cleaners, pom-poms, eye droppers, and  tongs. Pretty much whatever ever teacher would want and not spend their own money on.

Holly Hendershot
Zanesville Day Nursery
Zanesville OH

4.  RE: Staff incentives

Posted 10-11-2017 07:52 AM
For staff we do what we call the "gift of time".  This is where I take a morning an early morning session or a late afternoon session, usually a two hour block of time.  This allows staff to spend a little extra time with family.

Cheryl Kraker
Zeeland Public School
Zeeland MI

5.  RE: Staff incentives

Posted 10-12-2017 10:35 AM
I leave a small treat in the staff room each week: a bag of clementines, seasonal candy, interesting cookies, etc. with a thank you note "Welcome to Week 6!" Every couple of years I design and buy them a really nice piece of Cooperative School merchandise such as a wool scarf or sweatshirt. On off years I buy them wool socks (for playground time) or pretty cotton scarves. When I travel I send them postcards to their classrooms. And I always welcome them back to school with a bag of classroom goodies and personal thank you letters expressing my excitement at working with them. Sometimes we just have pizza day and I buy lunch for the staff. I try to mix it all up, keep it fresh, so it's fun.

Abigail Marsters
The Sharon Cooperative School
Sharon MA

6.  RE: Staff incentives

Posted 10-13-2017 04:44 AM
Hi from Sweden,

Making sure your staff are appreciated and feeling like their efforts are noticed is so important for staff morale.  Here at my preschool's I make sure our staff know how much we care about the work and dedication they provide all of our children from around the world.  For our preschools, our teachers get all outdoor and indoor clothing for their working day, free lunch, coffee and fruit.  Every Friday they have "Fika" (Swedish term for taking a cake and coffee break).  Im not a fan of sweets, but my staff seem to chow down...   A new thing that we have implemented for a year now was that staff get once a month 1 hour massage sessions at a local spa.  This seems to go down very well, especially after a long day, as well as funding towards a health and fitness membership (Healthy staff is really important for me).

Every summer and every Christmas we throw them a huge party, with open bar of course (Teachers like to have a good time), to relax and reflect on the year.

Financially it is still working out well and staff continue to bring new ideas on creating a magical place for the children.  Though I must say that here in Sweden I am fully funded by the government and parents only pay a minimal fee.  So I am assuming that we might have more funding to play with.

Joseph Major
Gothenburgs Preschool

7.  RE: Staff incentives

Posted 10-13-2017 08:33 AM
I used to grab a cart and go to each classroom and serve coffee or tea and breakfast treats in the morning. Of course the teachers loved it, but it was a great way for the children to see that their teacher was appreciated. I would say "You have the best teacher and we want her to have a treat this morning!". A great way to connect everyone. Also, take a teacher or two a month (put it on your calendar) and do something more individualized for just them. There is a difference between a gift for ALL and a gift that you really thought about for a specific person. It can be small, but based on what you know would be special for them.

Erin Akers
Director of Education and Development
Gesell Institute of Child Development
New Haven CT