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Mary Poppins: Our Favorite Part Time Nanny


We can only hope that anybody who had a nanny at some point while they were growing up has nothing but positive memories from the experience. Or at the very least, that they have a handful of positive memories from the experience. I know I certainly do. I remember one time, I cleaned up my room so well that my part time nanny took me out for ice cream. These days I can get ice cream whenever I want, but hey, when you’re seven years old, a Baskin Robbins Reward for cleaning your room makes for a pretty memorable afternoon.

However, no matter how wonderful my childhood nanny memories may be, or anybody’s may be for that a matter, no nanny placement company will ever be able to get an employee like the wonderful (albeit fictional) Mary Poppins.

Made famous by the 1964 Disney musical film starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, a lot of people don’t realize Mary Poppins was originally a series of children’s books. Written by P.L. Travers and initially illustrated by Mary Shepard, the book’s centered around the nanny service of Mary, who like in the film, popped in-and-out of the Banks family home with her umbrella carrying her on the East Wind.

Although Mary seemed to come-and-go as she pleased, categorizing her services under “part time nanny” can’t really be disputed.

The first book, entitled simply Mary Poppins, was published back in 1934. In the story, no nanny placement company is needed; Poppins comes in to the home of the Banks shortly after their most recent nanny quits, equipped with her “traveling carpetbag.” In the first novel, Mary and the children experience a plethora of different adventures, including having tea on the ceiling, a birthday party at the zoo amongst the animals, and a trip around the world with a compass.

There were eight books about Mary Poppins and her nanny service in total: Mary Poppins Comes Back (1935), Mary Poppins Opens The Door (1943), Mary Poppins in the Park (1952), Mary Poppins From A to Z (1962), Mary Poppins in the Kitchen (1975), Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane (1982), and Mary Poppins and the House Next Door (1988).

Tragically, the author of the Mary Poppins stories passed away on April 23, 1996 at the age of 96. Since Mary Poppins and the House Next Door was published in 1988, it seemed the world would hear nothing more from its most famous nanny.

This is, until 2004. In December of that year, a stage musical adaptation was produced based on both the 1964 film and the P.L. Travers novels. After previewing in Bristol, England and running briefly at the Prince Edward Theatre in London, Mary Poppins The Musical got nominated for nine 2005 Oliver Awards. Less than two years later, the show was on Broadway, and Mary Poppins, the world’s greatest part time nanny, was back once again.

OnTheGoChildcare.com is a New York nanny placement service serving families in the five boroughs as well as Long Island. Our nanny service delivers CPR certified nannies for any set of needs, whether you’re looking for a full or part time nanny.