Professionals that Become Nannies

Many nannies are well educated professionals who worked in other fields but now love their chosen occupation.

If you fit into this category, please comment below this article and tell us why you choose to be a nanny.

Andrea Gassert, a professional nanny in Beachwood, Ohio worked as a legal secretary in the property management field and then worked as an accountant. She decided to leave her accounting career behind and become a nanny more than 12 years ago.

Ms. Gassert says, “When I was young I took care of my cousins and neighbor’s children and loved doing it. I began to look in the help wanted advertisements on occasion and came across a family who was looking for childcare [provider] in their home. I called that family and went on my first nanny interview. I was hired with that family and stayed with them for four years.”

Ms. Gassert says, “I love being a nanny and as a result my husband and I decided to have our daughter four years ago.” She continues, “I will be a nanny in some form until I retire.”

As well as working as a nanny Ms. Gassert also works for a nanny placement agency Erin’s Nannies, in Beachwood, Ohio. She says “I love both of my positions and cannot imagine myself doing anything else.”

Terri Carroll, a nanny in Ventura, California used to work as a bookkeeper and as an accountant. Ms. Carroll explains, “In 2001, my accounting job was ending at the same time a friend was considering hiring her first nanny for her three girls. For the first time in my life, no accounting jobs [were available].”

She continues, “My friend [could not find any] nannies in the area where she was moving. We decided to give it a go, and I haven’t looked back since.”

Ms. Carroll says working as a nanny, “is truly a gift, both to me and to my charges. I love children and deeply care about giving them a good start in life. It is more rewarding than I anticipated in my wildest dreams. My connection with each of my charges is life long. I have made a tangible (if not measurable) difference for each and every one of them. That is so amazing to me.”

Buffi Gentry, from Los Angeles, California became a nanny in 1989. Ms. Gentry says, “Before being a nanny I worked in retail.”

“At first I had dreams of going to a particular business school,” says Ms. Gentry. But, she took a three month course intensive on the art of being a nanny at the Nanny Institute of Beverly Hills so she could “become a nanny as a way of paying for [business school].”

She continues, “After a few months I realized I had a knack for childcare and I did everything I could to learn more by attending small day classes, conventions, and reading of various childcare books.”

Ms. Gentry continued working as a nanny because she fell in love with “working with children and feels very accomplished at the end of my day.”

Stephanie Felzenberg, a nanny currently working in Glen Ridge, New Jersey started working as a nanny in 1993. After graduating from Rider University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology she tried various jobs in her degreed field. “I worked as a counselor for mentally handicapped adults and briefly with neglected and abused teenaged girls.”

She explains, “I actually accepted a nanny job expecting to work for just one year as a live-in childcare provider as a way to save some money while figuring out what job I wanted to do using my degree.”

She chose to continue working as a nanny. Ms. Felzenberg explains, “Working as a nanny I use my degree daily. Some parents have even asked to see my transcripts from child development and behavior management courses during nanny job interviews.”

She continues, “As a nanny I actually have better hours and higher pay then when I worked as a counselor.”

“But the most rewarding aspect of being a nanny is seeing my positive influence on children each day. I also truly enjoy cooking, tutoring, and being a personal assitant to the parents,” says the nanny.

Ms. Felzenberg has also been the editor of a nanny trade publication, “Be the Best Nanny Monthly in 2001. She attributes working as college yearbook editor for her interest in desktop publishing and writing.

Andrea Flagg, a nanny in Bergen County, New Jersey began working as a nanny in 2000. Ms. Flagg earned an Office Automation Specialist Certificate from the Cittone Institute in Princeton, New Jersey.

She says, “I wanted to please my father, so I pursued a career in computers.” She worked at many jobs including as an agency manger for an advertising firm, an office manager for a plush toy manufacturer, as a secretary for a children’s clothing store, as an administrative assistant to the Vice President of a corporation, and a daycare center assistant.

But, “After 15 years of working in the corporate world I was no longer satisfied with my career path,” explains Ms. Flagg.

Although she had attended business school and had several jobs in the corporate world and climbed her way up the corporate ladder she “found out it was very superficial and meaningless” working in an office environment.

She says, “At the age of 34 I decided to become a nanny soon after I saw the Louise Woodward (the English Au Pair) trail. I knew I could make a difference in a child’s life.”

After working as a nanny for eight years and for three families Ms. Flagg continues to enjoy working as a nanny. She explains, “Seeing the children learn new things, reach their developmental milestones, and grow to be a secure, confident, and kind person is very rewarding. I receive much satisfaction from teaching children skills that they will have for a life-time. Being a nanny is truly a career I can look back on and be proud of!”

Ms. Flagg is also the co-founder of the nanny support group Nanny Alliance of New York and New Jersey The support group provides nannies with personal and professional support on all levels. Under Ms. Flagg’s leadership the group provides educational and social opportunities for nannies in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut.


  1. My name is Stacey. I have an early education teaching degree and was an early elementary school teacher in a private Catholic school for two years. I worked in a Kindergarten class. I love children and did well at the job. Private schools pay much less than public schools. With budget cuts the administration of the school wanted to hire a new teaching graduate that would accept a lower salary than I wanted, I decided to look for a position in a local public school. But, local teaching jobs were filling up with other applicants.A close friend had been working as a nanny and suggested I work as an in-home child care provider for a few months with a local family until a teaching job opened up. The family lived close to my home. They offered a great salary to care for three adorable children. The parents were having trouble finding a nanny willing to work with their three children. The oldest child was in already attending elementary school and has dyslexia. The youngest child was in preschool but had already been diagnosed as having ADHD. Both of these two children were having trouble in school, despite being adorable and likable. Apparently previous in-home caregivers they had hired would get angry at the children when it came to helping with school work and discipline. Although the parents struggled finding a caregiver with confidence to work with these somewhat common childhood issues I felt confident I could work well with their cute children in a respectful way.My teaching degree definitely came in handy working with these children. I find the job both challenging and rewarding. Plus, the parents and I created a work agreement much better than any school district could offer. Only three years after graduating I was making over $75,000 per year. Plus, they worked into my job contract incentives like an annual raise, end of year bonus, health insurance benefits, cell phone and phone usage, gas mileage and car insurance covered, and ability to cash-out any personal or sick days not used at the end of the year. Frankly, working with one set of parents is also much easier than having to communicate effectively with 18 sets of parents. The salary the parents pay me is great. The job is challenging. I work long hours. But, all memebers of the family are lovely. I have every reason to love working as a nanny. I am grateful my teaching degree has come in handy in finding this incredible nanny job.

  2. I started working in child daycare centers in high school and worked in daycare centers throughout college. I went to college for social work. I loved working in the daycare centers, but daycares paid me minimum wage. Because of the low pay the turn over was also very high and most staff was frustrated.After graduating with my degree in social work I worked for the state. I worked in group homes and later as an advocate for children. Again, the job was very low pay. I was lucky if I got $50 for holiday bonus. Burn-out for the social work jobs was high. The hours were horrible, pay low, work frustrating.For ten years I tried various jobs in social work. Every social work job is underpaid, under staffed, with high burn-out rate, and I just saw little results from my hard work. Whether working with adults or children all my hard work was in vain.Close friends of mine in college were married and raising their children while working in high pressure jobs. The parents were disappointed hiring au pairs. I was unhappy being a social worker. I agreed to replace their au pair and work as a live-out nanny for them for six months. But, I never turned back. There is no better feeling than seeing my influence on the development of children. Working as a nanny is the most fulfilling profession.

  3. I worked as a head teacher at a popular daycare chain for five years. I liked the work despite the long hours and low pay.I became friends with some of the nannies who would drop off the children at the daycare. As we became friends I learned they earned much, much more than me. The more experienced nannies explained that they had great benefits too. I decided to apply at a local nanny placement agency to start going on interviews, just to see what nanny jobs were available in my area.I accepted a job with the second family I interviewed with. I have been working for the family for the past three years.My experience in the daycare has been very helpful in my nanny job. I love doing the same activities with the family I care for now. The parents appreciate my work. They pay me well and treat me well. I hope they know how much I love working for them too. It’s surprising to some, but my nanny job has been better than my greatest hopes. I hope to always work as a nanny until I retire.

  4. I was also a daycare employee for years. But there were financial problems with the daycare and the daycare had to close. I didn’t want to leave the daycare but they were about to close anyway. I reluctantly went to apply at a nanny agency thinking that the domestic work would be “below” me. Never did I think I wanted to be a nanny or a cleaning lady. Just never pictured myself working for a family in their home. I guess I thought it would be the same as babysitting. Boy was I wrong.I met lovely famiies and had great offers. I had no idea nannies could make so much money!! I accepted a job with the nicest family I interviewed with (not the most money). I am so glad I did. I love love love the nanny job. I don’t love all aspects of in-home care like laundry or ironing. But I do love the children and parents. The job is much harder than I expected. I come home tired every night. But I come home happy. I’m tired mostly from having fun. I don’t plan on ever applying to a daycare again. Being a nanny has been a great job!!

  5. My name is Maria and I was raised and educated in Portugal. I worked as a teacher in Portugal. My husband and I moved to America and are now citizens. We raised our daughters here and they have grown into wonderfully successful women. I am about to become a grandmother. I have worked as a nanny since we came to America. My education and experience in teaching helped my nanny career. Many parents like that I am billingual too. Other parents don’t want to hire a nanny who speaks english as a second language. But the families I have worked for thought it was an asset. Being a nanny is rewarding to me. Unfortunately, working as a nanny is a “step down” in the view of society. My family would have preferred I worked as a teacher. We have done well and I am proud of my work as a nanny.Nanny Maria NorthWest NJ

  6. In high school I worked in daycare centers in the summer, babysat on weekends, and in libraries. I worked as a server in a restaraunt, as an administrative assistant at the University I attended, and as a photographer before becoming a nanny. Nanny Sarah B

  7. I worked in finance. I earned a MBA. I became a stay at home mother after having my baby. I enjoyed meeting nannies and loved being a stay at home mother. But once my child was in school full-time I went back to working in finance. Last year I retired. I was depressed not working. So, I decided to post an advertisement in the local paper for part-time nanny job.I love caring for a 3 year old girl. I prefer the structure of working. I find working as a nanny very rewarding. I treat my charge as a grandchild.For retiring mothers I highly suggest working as a part-time nanny. Great money and a fun way to spend my days.

  8. I have been an Educational Coordinator, Educator (special needs),and English teacher. ALSO have been a nanny. I have a Degree in M.Ed., plus about 35 extra post-grad credits. Also have TEFL Certificate for teaching English. Also Reiki Master.Before working as a nanny (and sometimes while working as a nanny)I was a professional educator. I worked as a teacher in alternative settings as well as public schools (14 years),1 year in a private school, and 1 year in a language institute. I also did quite a bit of tutoring in different types of settings. (And I was a part-time fundraiser for nonprofit groups for 4 years prior to nannying). I’m also a community organizer who teaches workshops and courses related to practical intuition(ongoing). In addition to teaching I was doing a part-time fundraising job from 1995-1999 in order to cope with the costs of living in the Boston metro area. After 4 years of this, I realized that I needed to make a change from doing telephone work for my second job. I had entensive teaching experience with special needs children (as both a teacher and coordinator for parents) and I decided to start nannying once I saw an ad for an agency in a local paper. Since that time (1999) I’ve worked for 3 agencies and have been to hundred of temporary jobs both in homes and hotels in MA. In addition, I’ve worked several longterm part-time jobs and am still in touch with 5-6 families to whom I became close. I specialize in arts and crafts when the children are old enough to enjoy them. I did a weekly job for 2 families connected with Harvard U. (both from Pakistan originally) and also kept in touch by email for awhile with them. Why I chose to continue working as a nanny: I recently relocated from MA to another state, and it seemed like the quickest way to obtain the cash inflow that I needed (as well as the enjoyment of working with kids). At the moment, I work with a very adorable 4 year old boy, who has some special needs on a part-time basis. However, after a year and a half without a primary non-nanny job, I realize that I need to get that now! I do enjoy nannying, but am starting to feel like I”ve come full circle with it. I need more stimulation, or perhaps to work with older children so that I can do more projects with them…However, at this time, due to the relatively low pay, lack of benefits, and in my current environment, lack of other nannies to talk to, I am going to put my full energies to finding a regular job. (Also I have an aversion to micromanagement and am experiencing a lot of this via one of the parents in my current job…). I do still love kids, but need to explore other career interests (including possibly writing some books for children as well as teaching/tutoring and doing Reiki). Maria V.

  9. I attended a great business school for administrative assistants. I worked my way up a corporate ladder and became the administrative assistant to a CEO on Wall Street. After having a baby I tried juggling both working and raising a baby and hired a full time sitter. One day when I came home early from work sick I found the sitter napping on the sofa. To my horror while she napped inside my son was alone in a baby swing in the backyard!! Obviously, that scared me and I became a stay-at-home mother from that day on.Once my son entered school full time I really didn’t know what to do with my extra time. I truly didn’t want to go back to working at such a stressful job and I needed to work close to home in case my son needed me. First I worked with a temp agency for Administrative Assistant jobs. I was unsatisfied with all the temporary secretary jobs. I had been such a great secretary and it was difficult being around workers with a lack of motivation, low enthusiasm, and the pay was disgraceful.One evening my husband suggested I try working with children. After years of truly loving spending days raising my son this sounded like the perfect idea! Why not get paid for what I love doing?! I looked in the newspapers and online and it became clear some nannies make more than daycare workers. I was a little worried about what friends might think of me working in daycare or as a nanny but my husband convinced me that I had to do what I wanted to do for myself. Frankly, I needed my days filled up with fulfilling work more than great money anyway.I am so glad I applied with a local nanny agency and met several lovely families. I have been working for the same family in the same neighborhood I live in for five years now. The son I am paid to care for just started attending the same school my son attended. I can say they really are like family. We really all feel so blessed to have found one another. I feel such pride and love for their son as I do for my own son. My pre-teen son loves helping care for their child. The job fits perfectly. I can truly say after my marriage and having my son, becoming a nanny is the best choice I have ever made.Megan ThompsonMother, Nanny, Brooklyn, New York

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