Ask The Nanny


Hello there, folks! I am the token nanny contributor for Pittsburgh Moms Blog. I am here to aid with your queries regarding nannies.

A little about myself- I began my nannying career in 2008 after graduating from college. Was nannying my first choice post-college? Nope. I wanted to be a writer for Conan O’Brien in New York City and living Brooklyn. That plan fell by the waste side when the Writer’s Strike began the same week I received my BA in Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. I decided a needed to think outside the box in order to keep my dream alive. One of my classmates suggested I become a nanny and that is a great way to break into the entertainment business. Why not, I thought, as I had worked in a child care center during college. How could nannying be any different? Let me tell you- It’s quite different working in someone’s home day in day out.

My first nanny job was for a family with two-year-old boy, girl twins. I had an absolute blast working for this family! They were two adorable kiddos with vibrant personalities. If every nanny job was like this, I was set! Sadly, it was a 6 month temp position so I was out of luck.

But for years, I was required to cook, clean and tutor for other clients. I learned the true meaning of nanny burnout. I needed a break from the nanny world and a chance to be selfish and try a new career path. As scary as that was- I’m glad I did it.

Later, after working for a business downtown, I decided I really missed being a nanny. I needed to find the right family who would treat me with respect. Lucky for me, I found my current family of nearly six years. I get to call my work going to the playground, painting with watercolors and building with blocks. I have the greatest job in the world.

So, I am here to help all of you readers that have your own Mary Poppins in your lives. I want to aid you in navigating the tricky world of having a nanny. There’s no handbook out there so I guess I’m the next best thing? Send me your questions and I will try my best to help you! For now, I have a few questions that I am asked on the regular that I am happy to answer now.

    1. My Nanny wants to be paid on the books…. what does that mean?                                                                      *Your nanny wants paid through a payroll company and receive a W2. Using a company like Homework Solutions or GTM Payroll allows your nanny to have Federal taxes, Social Security, Unemployment, Medicare, Local tax and State taxes taken out of their paychecks. This also means they can have declarable income when they want to buy a house or car or apply for a loan. Payroll companies deal with sending the W2 to your nanny and usually have direct deposit. Your nanny is a household employee and legally you need to give them a W2. A nanny is NOT an independent contractor! Do not give them a 1099 at tax time!

                 2. What’s a usual workday for a nanny? 

* This certainly varies based on the family. For example, I work, on average, 50 hours a week. I have weekends off. I rarely work overnights and early mornings. I never work holidays. If I need to work longer hours, I am ALWAYS given notice. I do not travel with the family. I know some nannies that work four 12 hour days then are off on Fridays. I normally work 730-530. I do have a lighter schedule in the summer. Some nannies work part-time (less than 30 hours/ week). I am considered full-time so I work M-F. Most nannies begin their days around 7:30-8am. Most days end between 5-6:30pm. Again, this all depends on the parent’s professions. 

                 3.  I’m looking to hire a nanny that will stay until my kids go to school. What do I need to look for?

* You need to find a professional nanny. This is a person is a career nanny. There are a lot of qualified nannies out on the websites and through agencies. However, you don’t want to hire someone who is a nanny just for now. You want a nanny that’s been in the profession for years. A professional nanny has excellent references, CPR/First Aid certified, reliable car, all of their updated clearances and years of experience. Many agencies do the grunt work for the families. If you choose to use a site like, get ready to sift through hundreds of applicants. Be sure to do your homework and prepare for a lot of interviews with a variety of candidates. 

I hope this information helps you! Please send me your questions regarding anything/everything Nanny! 

GTM : This is a payroll service for your nanny.

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Marie Chir
Marie, a native of Pittsburgh, is a career Nanny with over 10 years of experience. She is currently working for a wonderful family in Fox Chapel. She is a 2007 Graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in Writing. She is 34 and currently resides in the South Hills. Marie spends her days creating various activities for her “nanny kids” that range from messy crafts to educational games. She feels very passionately that children learn best through play. She loves being silly with her nanny kids and appreciates every day knowing she has the greatest job in the world! She makes a point to explore the city of Pittsburgh with her nanny kids and utilize its wonderful resources, Throughout the year, she will travel to museums, landmarks, playgrounds, and tourist attractions. She feels the kids should know and appreciate where they live. Plus, Pittsburgh is an amazing city with a complex history and continual metamorphosis. Marie is currently working on her first children’s book, a fictional collection of short stories, and a curriculum for other nannies and stay at home moms. She’s also a quarterly contributor for Nanny Magazine. Marie is Dog Mom to her corgi, Butters. She loves coffee, The Simpsons, and jamming to early 2000s pop music. She is a proud aunt to her adorable 3-year-old niece. She may not have any children of her own, however, she has many “nieces and nephews” now that her friends are having children.