“When my husband and I were expecting our second child we heard about Strollers and Stilettos. We were anxious about what things would look like for two working parents with two little ones under the age of two. At first meeting with Katie Lewis, we knew she was the perfect person to help find a nanny for our little girls. Katie is a true professional and takes the time to learn about each family and their wants in selecting a nanny. Little did we know just how incredible she is at what she does. She introduced us to Rosie after careful selection of a number of qualified candidates. We wanted what most parents want for their children, a kind and patient caregiver that ensures the safety of the children but also engages them in the world around them. Rosie cares for each of our girls and encourages their growth and development every day. In our minds, there is no greater role than the person caring for our children and Rosie has been a wonderful gift to our family. She brings extensive experience with her which allows her to keep the calm only a true professional can have with two girls ages three and one. She is energetic and fun and our girls absolutely adore her. She has been a true gift and we are so grateful to have her as part of our family.”
– Lauren T. (Mother of two children – Western Springs, Illinois)
Strollers and Stilettos® interviewed Rosie Schwartz as our highlighted nanny for the month of October. Rosie has a true passion for childcare with over 20 years of nanny experience. Read the full interview below!
S&S: Where did you grow up?
RS: I grew up in the Chicago area and central Wisconsin. Most of my youth was spent in the Chicago suburbs (Itasca and Elmhurst)
S&S: Why did you end up in Chicago?
RS: Well, I have lots of family from here, and it’s also nice that Chicago happens to be my FAVORITE part of the US to live in!
S&S: What is your alma mater?
RS: College of DuPage
S&S: What degree(s) do you hold?
RS: I have an Associate’s Degree, and I am currently working on wrapping up my Bachelor’s Degree locally.
S&S: Tell me a little bit about your professional experience – What have some of your previous roles been?
RS: I’ve been a nanny for over 20 years! I’ve spent multiple years taking care of multiple children from various families since my early 20’s. Everything from newborns and toddlers through teens, both boys and girls, and two sets of twins. I’ve been with some families for close to 10 years…it’s great, because you really get to know the families you are with. I also used to own my own (extremely successful!) painting company, but I sold it to go back to my main passion – nannying for spectacular children!
S&S: What did you want to be when you “grew up”?
RS: Until I was about 12, I really wanted to be an astronaut. I actually had all of my favorite astronauts pictures on my dresser mirror.
S&S: Who is one person you looked up to or still look up to?
RS: I’d have to say my high school guidance counselor– he always told me to let my heart lead me to my destiny. He was such a kind, knowledgeable, loving peer. I’ll always remember him fondly.
S&S: Why did you decide to become a nanny, house manager, babysitter, etc.?
RS: I took my first nanny position after selling my business and heading back into school. I loved them all so very much that after wrapping up my associates degree, I couldn’t find it in my heart leave them, for nearly nine years! I talk to my four almost every day, and will be attending the second youngest’s wedding next weekend!
S&S: How long have you been in this role?
RS: I’ve been with my current family for over a year now, and it’s wonderful. My current family has a three year old and a 15 month old, and it’s so much fun to be working with a young professional family and young children. You really get to be a part of the journey and help turn the children into wonderful people.
S&S: What is your favorite part of your current position?
RS: The formative years with young children! And, I LOVE the parents too! We always have so much to talk about that it can be easy to spend many more hours together than planned. I know I’m “part of the family,” and it makes going to work that much more of a joy.
S&S: Why do you enjoy working with children?
RS: I love to stay active, kids keep me on my toes! It tickles me to watch them learn, and to inspire them to find their passions. I’ve always shared my love of reading and the arts with all of my children. Watching them interpret it into their own lives, and soar into beautiful people is beyond rewarding! It makes my heart full!
S&S: Kids often say whatever comes to mind – Do you have a favorite line from a kiddo you previously worked with?
RS: That’s tough, over the years there have been so many. A conversation between brothers, Tyler and Coleman, wins! On our short ride to school I never knew what was going to be said. Coleman, age five, was reassuring his seven year old brother Tyler that he was a really, really good looking, funny guy. He told him to just hang in there, he was sure he’d find a wife. Cole’s advice to him was to keep making girls laugh and shower a lot so he’d smell really good. You know, the things girls like. They shook hands to really seal the deal.
S&S: Do you want to have a family of your own someday? How many kids do you envision yourself having?
RS: I already have a family with two wonderful stepchildren, aged 12 and 15. I’m extremely family-oriented, and also very close to my siblings and cousins. Family is important!
S&S: What are your favorite things to do with kids?
RS: My absolute favorite activity is reading, and teaching my kiddos to read as early as possible. I had the privilege to lead the reading program in a Wheaton elementary school while I was in school. I learned quickly how fast kids can learn how to read and how many amazing new doors open. Their imaginations really flourish!
S&S: What do you enjoy doing in Chicago during your personal time?
RS: I love to go to restaurants, volunteer, run in races, participate in fundraisers, attend concerts and cultural events and to see the amazing sights that only Chicago has to offer. I’m always on the go!
S&S: Tell me about a day in the life of a Nanny.
RS: It’s always an early start, sometimes before the kids are up. I feed them and get them going, take them to any activities they are signed up for (such as gymnastics and tennis), go for walks and trips to the park, put them down for naps (which seem to never occur at the same time with multiple kids!), and keep them stimulated with a full day of activities. We also read LOTS of books together, go to the library, do lots of artwork and play lots of games.
S&S: What are some of your favorite spots in the Chicago area (i.e. museums, play cafes, restaurants, beaches)?
RS: I love the parks of Chicago and suburbs. I’ve always been a park hopper with my kids, exploring as many as possible all year long. When age appropriate we jump on and off the Metra train line exploring everything from the suburbs to the city– restaurants, museums, parks, libraries, you name it, I’ve been there.
S&S: Where do you see yourself in five years – On a personal and/or professional level?
RS: I definitely see myself with my current family. I just adore them all. I’m hoping they decide to add to their family!
S&S: How did you hear about Strollers and Stilettos™?
RS: Actually, I sent a very brief email to Strollers and Stilettos and they contacted me. I am very lucky they reached out to me – through Strollers and Stilettos I met my current family.
S&S: What was the process like with Strollers and Stilettos™?
RS: It was great, very professional and very thorough. Katie felt like an old friend. It was my first time going through an agency and it she made it a great experience.
S&S: How did Strollers and Stilettos™ help you with finding a family in Chicago?
RS: They had a family in mind for me, and set up an interview between the three of us. It was the best interview. They couldn’t have placed me with a better family. Through Strollers and Stilettos I was also able to get better compensation and other benefits that weren’t available to me before.
S&S: Do you have any advice for families interested in hiring a nanny?
RS: I get asked this a lot. With my many years of experience my best advice is to go with your gut and with your heart, they won’t let you down.
S&S: Do you have any advice for candidates interested in becoming a nanny?
RS: My advice is to go for it! Being a nanny is so much more than a career. You’re such an important part of the children’s growth and development. It’s a job that comes with great responsibility, but brings an even greater reward!