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.