A. This is one of the most significant differences between the nanny-family work dynamic and other, more traditional, employment relationships. More often than not, a nanny’s work schedule will vary from a traditional 9-5 job– this will often be the case even if the nanny’s formal schedule is set in the original contract (e.g., as 9-5– corresponding to hours the parents expect to be at work).
If you’re in the process of creating a work schedule for your nanny, beyond considering just your work hours, you should also keep in mind your commute, and, furthermore, note that you will inevitably have days during which you plan to run errands, social events, appointments (e.g., doctor, dentist) etc. From these few examples, it becomes apparent that the scheduling demands of the family will change from week to week.
The problem of varying work schedules is something that may go beyond what a contract can fix, strictly speaking. However, as a starting point, we suggest the family give the nanny a week or two notice when planning to alter the work schedule established in the contract. The important thing is that both parties agree to operate in good faith. That may not hold up in court, but the more the parties respect each other’s obligations, the better the employment relationship will be.