Yes! I can finally feature the lady who is responsible for many of the great photos seen on UnikBlends sites! Lucille Pilot is UnikBlends’ unpaid “official” photographer 😊. She is the unsung, unseen lady who single-handedly captures most of the dazzling incredible images used to create captivating stories that are shared with you.
She is simply remarkable in so many ways that I had to share her story.
Lucille is from the Philippines, of the beautiful Province of Cebu, where she met her Dutch husband at a Water Resource Center, while both were working as students. She relocated to the Netherlands and together with Arjen, they have 3 amazing children, one of them awaits us in heaven – Bammetje.
Though she has a background in civil engineering, Lucille chose to follow her heart and take care of children. Lucille started working at two international daycares in Den Haag, but after having her first son, she was not comfortable with leaving him in the care of someone else and wanted to be directly involved in caring for him, daily. She also desired to be independent and contribute financially for her young family and was determined to work. Her solution was to run a “Gastouderopvang” childcare. This way, she could earn while taking care of her son and other young kids in her own home.
She had heard about Gastouderschap from her previous boss and with the help of her husband, started Precious Child, a home-based childcare.
Here, Lucille gets to combine a lot of things: a wife, a mother, a business owner, chores etc. It was a tough and stressful start because there were a lot of changes being implemented in the system at that time due to some blatant abuse of government subsidy. For instance, for the parents to be eligible for child care subsidies, the day care had to be registered. Hence, Lucille had to take several exams to register her daycare business. It was a tall challenge, having to prepare and learn every single minute detail for the exams.
On top of that, the exams were in Dutch, which she was not yet so proficient in. Furthermore, Lucille placed quite some pressure on herself, as failing was not an option. Registering her business would enable parents to secure the much-needed government subsidies. Though parents assured her that it would be okay, regardless of her results, she wanted parents to be able to have this possibility as child care in the Netherlands, even for double income families, is very expensive. Through determination, perseverance, and hard work, Lucille passed all the exams.
Gradually, owing to clients’ positive feedback, Precious Child got more clients. And by word of mouth, its reputation spread to parents working in the International community. Childminding have a lot of risks, but Lucille took all these risks to fulfill her wishes as a mother to take care of her own kids.
I met Lucille, thanks to Precious Child, through an advert – as I desperately sought a childcare couple of days of my maternity leave ending. Until then, I had no idea of what a gastouder was, left alone that one was just couple of streets off my house. Meeting Lucille and Arjen, in their home, with their son in his play box, I was immediately drawn to her warm smile. I was instantly convinced my daughter was in capable compassionate hands.
Lucille promptly takes care of children who are dropped off daily in the mornings at her home till evenings, offering more than 8hours of attentive childcare to 3 – 4 kids, in her polish-clean and well-kept house, which has been suitably converted into a comfy childcenter. She keeps her door open, always, to all the parents of her children, offering additional childcare assistance as well as listening to and having frank conversations with the parents about child caring/effective parenting based on love.
Lucille is also a great chef, though she claims her father is better! She often makes huge quantities of delicious Filipino delicacies, not only for her children during the day, but also gives away to the parents, serving conveniently as warm dinners. I have been one of those lucky parents, who was spared cooking several evenings. Thanks to Lucille great cooking abilities, my daughter’s favourite meal, remains Menudo and Pansit, anytime, any day!
Lucille has made the Netherlands her home away from her birth home, embracing wholesomely, several of the Dutch traditions and for the love of her “3 boys” (Arjen and her 2 sons), she happily engages in the ritual of Dutch summer annual camping, train watching, hiking and biking, as well as swimming.
Despite her busy daily schedule, she somehow manages to find the time for her family, great cooking for friends, a lead singer at her church (Church of Our Saviour, Den haag), makes the most amazing diaper cake for several baby showers, incredible Lego builder with several projects done with her family, an Orchid lover and not least of all, her dearest photography.
Her sincere energy, compassion and talent is sometimes just breath taking. She throws herself at whatever is before her, forgetting herself – such that she is effective and yet so tender and loving. Lucille is a strong believer of respect, and most importantly respect for what lies deep within, to be the best one can be.
To book Lucille for photographs of small events located in The Hague area, just send us a message here.