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Having a Baby in Spain - Part 4 - Back to Work

By Jo Green - Thu 6th Aug 2009

I was back at work 6 days after giving birth. My Partner had a legal contract with his employer and so as a new father he had a compulsory number of days to take , so he had Paternity leave while I wasn't eligible for Maternity leave ! I was also very fortunate because my boss did not want me take any ( Unpaid ) Leave and did everything he could to help me to keep working for him. My office was essentially a room in his house and so for the 3 Mornings a week that I worked , I took my daughter with me for the first 6 Months - she either slept in one of the bedroom close to my office , or was looked after by my Boss's wife ( who was a qualified childcare assistant anyway ! ).

As she approached 6 Months we knew that her demands were changing and she needed more attention and interaction with babies of her own age, and so we looked into the local Nurseries. There were 2 to choose from in our Town , and fortunately they both had a place for a 6 Month old Baby ( they usually limit the places available for younger children so they can manage their resources - get your name down early if you know you might want to send your baby to a nursery ! ) so we had the luxury of choice in this. The 2 nurseries both charged the same but were totally different. One was a self detached Building set just out of the Town , bright modern premises with good Facilities , a big Car Park and a good outside Play area. The other one was much smaller and took in fewer children , and was set in the heart of the Town in the back rooms of a Family Town House. We decided on the second Nursery – the feel that we got was that it was run and managed by people who genuinely loved children and that it wasn't being run exclusively as a business. The only real drawback ( apart from Parking ! ) was that there was very little outside space , but we decided that because we had such a large garden at Home , that for just 3 Mornings a week it wouldn't be too much of an issue.

You will find English run Nurseries in most ex-pat areas of Spain , but the costs were way beyond compare to the Spanish ones – and we had already decided that we wanted our daughter to be brought up learning Spanish to a good standard from an early age and to be an active part of the Community – so it seemed logical for us to consider a Spanish Nursery. For 3 mornings a week we Paid 80 Euros Per Month , whereas we have friends who send their child to an English Nursery over here for closer to 500 Euros per Month ( 5 Full days ) - even so , I know this is still much cheaper than in the UK.

Because our Town is in a Rural area , traditionally the majority of Spanish mothers do not work so some children just go to the Nursery for 1 or 2 Mornings per week to give the Mum a bit of time to catch up with her housework , or whatever. If I was ever working late , or unable to collect my daughter at the agreed time I would call and it was never a problem to them , nor did they charge us any extra for the additional time or Inconvenience to them. Because no English is spoken - or even understood - at the Nursery , it has helped my Spanish considerably .My Daughter has recently started to speak a few words in a jumble of 3 Languages (English , Spanish and Valenciano) and I can see that it won't be too long until I am learning my Spanish from her !

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