Meet Ashley Mason: Featured Santa Barbara Babysitter

I grew up in a tiny town between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, California. A place so small there are only two high schools in the entire county. I am the oldest girl of three in my family so you could say that this is what started my journey in being a babysitter. I decided to move to Santa Barbara 4 years ago to get an immersive college experience but what I didn’t expect was to fall so in love with this beach town. Currently, I'm a drop-in babysitter and love it. 

What did you love most about being a kid?

When I was a kid I loved school and/or being in charge. I remember begging my mom to allow me to go to summer school when I did not need to so that I could continue going to school throughout the summer.  During the year, the school librarian would come by my classroom almost daily to remind me she was there and encourage me to come and get a new book to read that day. One of my favorite accomplishments was having read the most words throughout the year in the fifth grade - even beating out the smart boys.

 

What are you most excited to share with kids you babysit for?

I am most excited to share my knowledge. I love when I teach a kid something new and they are able to retain that information with them forever. It’s fun having a friendship with such a tiny person because they get excited so easily which makes me excited. I think when they see that I am interested to play with them and let them take the lead, they have more fun exploring. 

Why do you like most about being a sitter?

I like being able to work with lots of different families. I have met people from all over the United States and it always intrigues me to learn about their different parenting styles. It is very interesting to see how kids from different areas reflect their regional culture. Meeting new people all the time is really fun for me.

 

What have you learned about yourself since working with children?

I have learned that it’s okay to embrace my emotional side. With children, their emotions are always so big. If they fall down it is the worst thing that could ever happen to them and they cry and cry. On the opposite end though if they get 100% on their spelling test, they are ecstatic and nothing could make them happier. As an adult I feel that society encourages us us to suppress emotions, but since I'm around children so often, it's taught me to embrace the natural ups and downs. 

Favorite activity with kids:

Definitely arts and crafts. Kids are so creative. Teaching kids new ways to create then have them show it off to their parents first thing gives me a great feeling.

During solo time, you’ll find me:

Either watching Grey's Anatomy or catching up with my friends and family who live far away.

I can’t live without:

A full night’s sleep.

My favorite sitter as a child:

My Auntie Stephanie. My younger sister and I spent many summers at her house. She taught us to bake and sew.

In 5 years, I'll be:

Hopefully more established in my career goals and more clear on what I want in the long term. I hope to have traveled more and lived in a few more places. 

3 non-essential items that help carry you through your day:
Chapstick, glitter, and knowing that I have my bed to go home to at the end of the day.

 

Meet Danielle Kaminsky: Featured Helpr Babysitter

I grew up in Danville, CA (friends like to call me “Danny from Danville”). Through my mother’s business in fertility, I began interacting with infants and children at a young age. While achieving my undergraduate degree in Psychology from UCSB, I continued my work with children as a Research Assistant and Behavior Interventionist at the Koegel Autism Center. In my spare time, I enjoy outdoor activities, riding horses, cycling, going to the beach, and traveling.

 

What did you love most about being a kid?

As a child I loved to ride horses and dance.

 

What are you most excited to share with kids you babysit for?

I am excited to share fun times at the park and fun sing along music.

 

How are you the same and/or different from the people that raised you when it comes to interacting with the children in your life?

Like my parents, I love to nurture and care for children. I am also avid about setting boundaries and following through.

 

I can’t live without:

Chocolate.

 

My favorite sitter as a child:

Were my neighbors and were also sisters, Emily and Elli. During summers, they took me on fun adventures around our hometown.

 

In 5 years, I'll be:

In graduate school, working with children in an academic environment to aid children in psychological health.

 

3 non-essential items that help carry you through your day:

Aquaphor as chapstick.

Fuzzy socks.

A cute outfit.

Our Honor & Privilege

An honest look at a big question. When tech merges with the most intimate spaces.

 

I’ve been getting the question a lot — how can a parent trust an app like Helpr? This is such an important question and it’s my honor and privilege to answer it.

We’ve given the answer many times. Usually it happens privately over the phone to a client who’s never booked a sitter before. A lot of times they’ve moved to a new city, feeling a little lost without the traditional support networks and our team will welcome them to our village of support.

Our approach pivots on three key points:

  1. 100,000 hours
  2. Loving kids, honoring childhood.
  3. #allkids

100,000 hours

With our previous venture, which Becka and I started in college at UCSB called University Sitters, we helped to place one hundred thousand hours of in-home care. We’d been sitters for years and created the network as the only way to replicate ourselves for clients requesting more help than we could personally offer. We always felt responsible to lend a hand when asked to.

We’ve been there for weddings, anniversaries, births, deaths, exceptionalities, sibling rivalries, soccer practice, birthday parties, homework help, divorce. Any major transition or minor detail we’ve attended to. We worked the phones for years and know our clients and their needs intimately.

Loving kids, honoring childhood.

We love hanging out with kids. Just take a look at our Instagram. If you have a baby, and we have a meeting, we hope the baby will join us. Parent send us videos and pictures of the triumphs in their family life.

Our helprs are there to honor your kids and their experience. They likeworking with kids and want to learn from them. Our sitters don’t just supervise, they find creative ways to engage with the children at the appropriate development level.

#allkids

When we were putting the concept together for Helpr, Becka and I decided to take on one of the biggest challenges of our lifetime. We were working night and day trying to create a minimum viable product that we could launch to help parents reach our sitters faster and cheaper — to scale the thing that we did best for so many years at University Sitters.

We knew Helpr had to connect with everyone. We knew that we wanted parents to hear loud and clear that every decision we make whether it product or hire or partnership, we would have the best interest of the kids at heart. So we pushed ourselves even further into the space.

Together we fostered for one year, two wonderful children who’ve become an integral part of our forever lives. The experience taught us so much about ourselves, our friendship, our ability to love through heartbreak, to be strong to help others grow. We were reminded of the huge responsibility we have to continue to create and care for relationships in the home.

Tech leveraged relationship creation is our business and we are built by a team with a combined 40 years in the field. Trust will continue to grow over time as our culture is revealed. But we wouldn’t feel comfortable trying to scale without the experience we have. We take this head start and remind our collaborators that the wider we are, the more quality control we achieve. We dream of setting the bar for childcare from LA to Miami to London.

If you’re a parent, disruption is not a word you want to associate with. It usually has something to do with a nap being over too soon on account of an unexpected visitor or a barking dog. But this time, we can assure that a disruption is going to be very welcome. We want to make child care safer, more accessible, and more valuable. We want every parent to feel supported, every kid to feel appreciated and heard, and every sitter to feel respected.

After 12 years of friendship and several iterations of babysitting services, it’s our privilege to release Helpr. We hope you’ll invite us to be there for the big and small moments.