Scheduling

One of the best benefits of having a nanny is the scheduling flexibility she provides. Whatever your scheduling needs are, you can find a nanny to meet them. It’s important to clearly outline your nanny’s schedule in your nanny contract in a way that ensures you have the flexibility you need and your nanny has the time off she needs. The A to Z Nanny Contract walks you through this process.

Full-Time Nannies
Full-Time Nannies with School-Aged Children
Part-Time Nannies
Schedule for High Profile Families
Regular Weekend Care
Overnight Care
24/7 Care
Nanny Share
Summer Nanny
Temporary Nanny
Back-Up Nanny

Full-Time Nannies
A full-time nanny generally works 40 to 55 hours a week. Most work five 8 to 11 hour days however with the increased popularity of flex time, many nannies work four 10 to 12 hour days. A typical day begins between 7:00 and 8:00 AM and ends between 5:30 and 7:00 PM.

Generally full-tie nannies receive 2 consecutive days off a week. Most nannies require Saturday and Sunday off although there are many that will work a Saturday and/or Sunday. Giving up part or all of a weekend is a less desirable schedule so it’s usually offset by a higher hourly wage or increased benefits.

Many employers include a date night in their nanny’s monthly schedule if their nanny is willing to work a late night or weekend evening. These evenings are in addition to the nanny’s regular hours so date nights often mean overtime hours.

Full-Time Nannies for School-Aged Children
A nanny’s schedule reflects the time she needs to be available to work, not the actual time worked. This can be a conundrum for employers when their kids enter school full-time. Should you stick with a full-time nanny and simply pay her for the many hours she’s not working or should you switch to a different type of caregiver or to a different schedule?

If you’re not able to take off work or call in family or friends when your child is off for spring break, professional training days, snow days, or sick days, then you probably still need a full-time caregiver. More and more families with school-aged kids are opting for a family manager over a nanny. If the current nanny is willing to take on additional duties, she usually moves into the family manager position. Otherwise, the family hires a new employee. A family manager can provide a customized blend of childcare and household support so it’s like getting multiple roles wrapped up in one person and it effectively utilizes the hours the kids are in school.

Additional Reading
Do Nannies Get Paid When The Kids Are In School?

Part-Time Nannies
Part-time nannies’ schedules depends on the needs of the family and the availability of the nanny. They can work any combination of weekdays and weekends; morning, afternoon, or evening shifts. Some part-time nannies work two 12 hour days a week and others work 3 or 4 hours each day. In other words, there is no “typical” schedule.

Many families with school-age children would love to have a part-time nanny who works a split shift, working an hour or two in the morning to get the kids off to school and then coming back in the afternoon to handle the homework and dinner routines. It’s next to impossible to find someone to do a split shift unless you find a mom or student in your local neighborhood. It’s just not a financially workable arrangement for anyone that has to commute.

Schedule for High Profile Families
Nannies that work in high profile positions often work a non-traditional schedule that regularly changes depending upon their employers’ needs. High profile families pay for childcare but also for the convenience of a highly flexible schedule where changes don’t require a lot of notice and don’t get any push back. However employers still need to be aware of their nanny’s need for adequate time off. Even the most dedicated caregiver needs down time to relax and reenergize.

Regular Weekend Care
If you need regular weekend coverage, there are two main ways to arrange for quality, consistent care.

First, you can hire several nannies to work rotating weekends. As you plan the schedule, remember that most weekend nannies also work a full-time job during the week. Too many weekends assigned to one nanny will lower the quality of care she provides and will cause her to burn out (read quit). If you include your weekday nanny in the weekend rotation, make sure she wants to work the extra hours rather than feels obligated to. Also, make sure she receives adequate time off to relax and rejuvenate.

Second, you can hire a full-time weekend nanny. This requires a larger financial commitment (usually nannies need to earn a full-time salary even if working a shorter schedule) but it offers consistent care with a great deal of built-in flexibility. Your weekend nanny can also double as your back-up childcare provider, filling in when your weekday nanny is sick, needs to take personal time or is on vacation.

Overnight Care
If you’re a new parent who’d like to get some sleep or need to return to work before your baby is sleeping through the night, overnight care might be the answer you’re looking for.

You can hire a Newborn Care Specialist (NCS) to help out after your baby’s birth or a night nanny to come in anytime you need overnight coverage. Most NCS take a job exclusively for a set period of time. A night nanny can work any schedule that works best for you.

24 / 7 Care
Some families are looking for 24/7 coverage. The best way to arrange this schedule is to hire 3 separate nannies: a weekday nanny, a weeknight nanny, and a weekend nanny. Usually, the weekday and weeknight nanny divide up Monday through Friday with each one working a 12-hour shift or, if the child is sleeping through the night, the weekday nanny working a 10-hour shift and the weeknight nanny working a 14-hour shift. The weekend nanny provides 24-hour coverage throughout the weekend, usually beginning on Saturday morning and ending on Monday morning. Many families have their weekend nanny (if she works exclusively for that family) come in on Friday evening and stay until Monday evening to give both the weekday nanny and the weeknight nanny an extra shift off. The weekend nanny also fills in when one of the other nannies is out sick, needs a personal day or is on vacation.

Nanny Share
Nanny shares are becoming a popular option for families that want in-home care and are willing to work within the limitations of a nanny share. A shared nanny’s schedule doesn’t differ from a full-time or part-time nanny’s schedule. The only difference is she has to coordinate with 2 families rather than 1.

Summer Nanny
A summer nanny is a caregiver who works through the summer when school-aged kids are out of school for the summer. She usually works a full-time schedule unless the kids are in camp for part of the day.

Temporary Nanny
A temporary nanny generally steps into an established full-time or part-time schedule. She may sub for a regular nanny who’s out sick for an extended length of time, who’s on maternity leave, or who has a family emergency. Or she may be providing care for a family whose nanny has left before they’ve found a replacement. A temporary nanny usually is in a position for several weeks or months.

Back-Up Nanny
A back-up nanny is really a highly qualified babysitter.  Most back-up nannies work through agencies and provide childcare for short-term, short notice gigs. Companies contract with local agencies to provide sick childcare services. Hotels contract with them to provide sitting services to guests. And parents contract with them to have access to a pool of screened sitters.