Practical Life in Barcelona

Childcare, Babysitting in Barcelona

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It is important to find a facility that works for you and your child. Some factors to consider:
Budget: It is important to know what you are able to spend to help determine where you should look. Think about the number of hours and time to day you will need a sitter to determine your total costs.
Language: Your child may need a dual language facility if they do not speak the native language. Many schools are dual or even tri-lingual staff and curriculum both for international children and to encourage early learning.
Age of Children: Choices in childcare are more limited before 3 years old, and children over 5 years old may attend public pre-school for at least half a day. Some schools require that children be potty-trained.
Service Provided: Some facilities offer occasional care or partial care (i.e. 3 days a week), while other facilities only offer full-time.

Proximity to home or work: This is often the deciding factor when choosing a child care facility. Consider your neighborhood, or the area around your work. The easier the commute, the better the situation.

When choosing a care center, also check staff turnover. Consistency in caregivers is a major benefit for your child. Make sure that you completely trust any facility or caregiver you leave your child with. This is an important element in creating a happy situation, and a happy life.

Childcare Facilities

A ludoteca ("recreation room" in English) is a children's care center. Also known as espai infantils or guarderias, these are the most common forms of facilities. Ludotecas may offer full-time or half-time facilities, with hours after schools or on weekends. Many are connected with a local Civic Centre or other public organization. Many centers offer a range of additional services such as hosting for children’s parties or summer camps and after-school workshops. The majority of these centers are for children over 3 years of age and parents do not accompany children. Be sure to check with your local Civic Centre, as they often have permanent Ludotecas or other activities and courses for children.

Most operate by membership. families pay an annual fee and are offered services. Some work on a pay-as-go system. Part-time salaries are usually around €750 to €850 per month and full-time salaries €1,200.

How to Find Childcare Facility

Meeting local moms is a great way to determine availability and options. Meet at a park, playground, or try online forums like EasyExpat's Barcelona forum. Also be sure to visit different care facilities to find one that works for you.

Betlem Escoles
Address: Avenida Mistral 20; 08015 Barcelona
Tel: 34 934244174
Open: 8:00 till 20:00
Takes children from infancy to 5 years-old.

Guarderia Babet
Address: Aragon 116; 08015 Barcelona
Tel: + 34 933231492

Address: Ferrer i Guardia, 08190 Sant Cugat Del Valles
Tel: + 34 935902600

Formacion Infantil S.A.
Address: Bruc 136-138 - Entlo. 1; 08037 Barcelona
Tel: + 34 934578047
Open: 7:30 till 21:00; Monday till Friday and till 14:00 on Saturday, all year around.

Picarol Blau S.L.
Address: Pous 5-7; 08192 Sant Quirze Del Valles
Tel: 34 937210044
Open: 7:00 till 20:00
Children from 0-3 years-old are welcome.


Babysitting is useful if you are not looking for full time care, but need someone to occasionally watch the children. Often, this is a family member such as the grandmother, and may or may not be paid as it would be treated more like a favor. Other people may be looking for these roles as a paid position. Be sure you have recommendations and are comfortable with the person you leave your children with. Background checks are one of the benefits of going through an agency.

Expect to pay between €8 to €12 per hour, per child.

How to Find a Babysitter

Meeting local moms is a great way to determine availability and options. Meet at a park, playground, or try online forums like EasyExpat's Barcelona forum. Also be sure to visit different care facilities to find one that works for you. Websites like EasyExpat's Spain's Job Listings are another excellent resource for finding babysitters.

BCN Babysitter: English speaking babysitter based in Barcelona. On-line booking and availability on website.

Tender Loving Canguros: International nanny/babysitting service established in Barcelona. Many native English speakers with sitters specializing in other European languages plus Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, Russian. Also offers school advice.

For consistent babysitting, you may look at an au pair. Consult the section on "Au Pair" under "Find a Job".

Update 17/10/2011


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