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childcare

Meet Lukas, an employee at Snap and parent of two kids

Meet Lukas, an employee at Snap and parent of two kids

We sat down with Lukas Blakk, Mobile Release Manager at Snap, to learn about how back-up care impacts her work and family life.

How many kids do you have? How old are they?

We have a 12 year old and a 3.5 year old.

How long have you been at Snap and in what position?

I'm a Mobile Release Manager and have been at Snap for over a year.

Can you describe what finding backup childcare was like before Helpr? Did Snap offer anything?

We got our 3-year-old within a month of my start date at Snap, so I didn't have experience finding backup childcare. It was a blur of getting him to California from the East Coast, finding the right preschool, and then figuring out how to get alone time with my partner. Snap offered Helpr from the get-go so it was an immediate, and very welcome, relief to have such a service.

Does your partner work?

Yes, she's the provost for an arts college and extremely busy.

How often have you used Helpr since it's been offered to you as a benefit? Can you provide any specific examples of how you used it? (i.e. critical backup care, date night)

It's been critical on a couple of days where my youngest's preschool was closed. Helpr also gave us a couple of times to rest and recover from the deep dive into preschooler parenting. Getting a Helpr for the first time to take ourselves to brunch and to the spa for an hour was invaluable to our sanity in the first few months. Another time, his preschool was closed but I had a meeting in Cupertino with Apple that I absolutely could not miss. Helpr was there to save the day.

Would you be less productive at work without Helpr? How?

Knowing I can book a Helpr in a pinch is definitely key to feeling like I won't disappoint my team.

How important is wellness to being both a present parent and employee?

Super important to me! I'm not as young as some of my co-workers and I have a lot of need to be efficient in my work, but also really present with my family. Being able to have flexible hours is huge (Snap is great for this) but so is having extra benefits that support me in providing time for myself and my partner when we need to rest.

My partner and I also don’t have parents nearby. So in many ways, Helpr offers a benefit that’s similar to having family in-town, because we can call on Helpr in a moment’s notice.

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.