International Day Care Centers in Barcelona

International Day Care Centers in Barcelona

International day care centers in Barcelona

Hi SuiteLifers,
Are you moving to Barcelona with your children? Are you already in Barcelona and you want your kids to be bilingual? Excellent. Have you considered an International day care center in Barcelona? Well, my people, you should. Let me tell you why and which are the best day care centers you can choose from.

A child’s ability to learn multiple languages at a very young age is simply amazing. Young kids’ brain capacities are completely fresh and able to take in a lot of information and therefore, language comprehension is so much easier for them. They are like sponges! We of course want to nurture our little guys and gals because knowing multiple languages is an incredibly useful trait for them in terms of communication and enriching their career prospects. I’ve decided to make sure you have a choice between the best International day care centers in Barcelona.

Noah’s Ark International Day Care Center

International day care centers in Barcelona

This day care center is all about diversity. Noah’s Ark welcomes all children from different cultures and backgrounds. Which means that alongside your toddler’s studies your child will learn to interact with other children, teaching it to appreciate and understand the importance of equality in the long-run. The center is concentrated in teaching children English while teaching Spanish is also present in the child’s curriculum in a lighter manner.

Noah’s Ark is one of the  successful International day care centers in Barcelona. Its success and fine reputation is strongly connected with the parents relationship the center aims to maintain. You as a parent will be highly involved in the center’s activities and frequent feedback from you is used to help improve their services in order to suit your child’s needs. This day care center’s love for children is strong and because of that they provide constant monitoring of the children’s progress and well-being.

Parents are presented with two evaluation reports a year providing feedback on the level of performance of their child. While these evaluation reports are officially done only twice a year, parents have the freedom to check on their child’s well-being regularly or as much as they need to.

International day care centers in Barcelona

Noah’s Ark is big on physical activities too. Once a week they provide optional swimming lessons for the kids to teach them how to be aware and feel safe outside and inside of the water. In accordance wit this, the center has an enormous garden with lots of green areas, sandboxes, swings and slides to ensure the children are active and entertained. Classes are divided by the age of the children. Below, you can see the children – teacher ratio in the different age groups:

  • Baby group (4 to 12 months) 6 babies 3:1 ratio
  • Yellow Class (12 to 18 months) 12 toddlers 6:1 ratio
  • Green Class (18 to 26 months) 14 toddlers 7:1 ratio
  • Orange Class (26 to 30 months) 16 children 8:1 ratio
  • Blue Class (30 to 36 months) 18 children 9:1 ratio

If you are interested in this day care center and need more information, go to Noah’s Ark website and study them in depth.

 

Kinder Barcelona

International day care centers in Barcelona

An excellent activity based International day care center in Barcelona. Your child will associate this center with fun and excitement. Literally, guys, don’t be surprised when you wake up in the morning and your child is already waiting for you fully dressed at the front door.

Kinder Barcelona offers several language courses you can choose from. Kinder is aware that families have different needs for the language their child should study. No matter if you are temporarily in Barcelona, you plan to move to another country or you have specific higher education aspirations for your child to pursue when it grows up, Kinder has you covered with their selection of language classes. The teachers, either native and bilingual, show excellent professionalism combined with charm and positive personalities to provide your child with the best learning experience ever. Catalan, German and English are the three morning courses you can choose from. Once you have made your decision you can also choose whether to combine the morning class with the afternoon Spanish class if you wish to train your child to be multilingual.

Kinder Barcelona believes that the best way to teach your children languages is through fun activities. Apart from the academic type morning classes, the rest of your child’s day will be filled with activities involving dancing, singing, painting and drawing and lots of playing.

The center organizes various outings around the Pobleneu area, park visits and holiday camps for the little tykes. For more information and upcoming events you should check the Kinder Barcelona website.

International day care centers in Barcelona

 

Once again this day care center has a deep connection with the children’s parents. Organising numerous activities for parents to enjoy with their children, and for parents alone, Kinder makes sure you are present in your child’s upbringing and growth as much as possible. Such activities include dance classes for the moms (sorry dudes), classes on how to improve your story-telling to your children, toy making workshops and many more. Interested? Check all of Kinder’s family activities.

 

English Kinder Barcelona

International day care centers in Barcelona

Kinder English is another great International day care center in Barcelona. This center has been operating for more than 40 years and its still following the same passion for achieving excellence in nursery education as it had from the start. With years of experience and constant improvement you can be sure that your child will be in the best of hands. English Kinder specializes in teaching English, Catalan and Spanish to its children. The English studies are 90% and the Catalan and Spanish classes divide between themselves the remaining 10%. The center’s testimonial states that by the time the children finish their standard study program at English Kinder they will have very good command of the three languages. If parents wish to re-enroll their children for additional studies with English Kinder Barcelona, they will have the option to include the French language in their child’s curriculum.

Although fun activities have a strong presence in English Kinder’s education plan, the center can be considered to be more academically oriented. Alongside the language studies they offer numerous music lessons. Children can pick from different musical instruments they would like to practise, the piano and the violin being the most popular among them.

International day care centers in Barcelona

 

The center believes that high quality education should go hand-in-hand with good physical fitness. You can also pick what sport activity would best suit your child. Tennis, Judo, Yoga and Dancing are just some of the sport activities you can choose from.

If you are interested in this day care center, might as well hop on to the English Kinder Barcelona website.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post and found it informative. If you have had any good day care center experiences before, we’d love to hear about them. Just scroll down a little bit more and post them in the comment section.

 

Ready for your weekly joke?

 

Little girl: “Why does your son say, ‘Cluck, cluck, cluck?’”

Mother: “Because he thinks he’s a chicken.”

Little girl: “Why don’t you tell him he’s not a chicken?”

Mother: “We need the eggs.”

 

Sincerely,

 

Chris

 

 

 

Top 5 tips on How Not to Get Screwed by a Landlord in Barcelona

Top 5 tips on how not to get screwed by a landlord in Barcelona

5 ways you can protect yourself against bad landlords.

 

Hello, SuiteLifers

get screwed by a lnadlord

This time let’s talk about how to avoid getting screwed by a landlord in Barcelona. Have you ever been blamed for something damaged in your flat which wasn’t your fault? Or have you ever been accused  breaching the contract for no good reason? Don’t worry it happens all the time. Personally I have been through some tough landlords myself. Renting a new apartment can be a very fun experience or a living nightmare. That is why I want to share some tips you can use to avoid such annoying and stressful situations.

 

Always visit the flat personally

A lot of real estate websites these days provide virtual tours for their future tenants to view. Pretty cool, right? Whilst this is a great new way to appreciate a flat and its features in depth from the comfort of your own chair at home, this should not be your final step of the viewing. You should also be aware of landlords attaching false photos of the apartment online.

Make sure you can spare half an hour and go visit the flat personally. What happens more often lately is that people make rushed decisions and even sign a lease contract without even paying a visit to the flat they are entering. As you can imagine a lot of times these people feel disappointed in their decision just because they haven’t had the chance to try out the TV first.  So, gang, to avoid being disappointed in yourselves I advise you to book a viewing for the apartment of your interest and don’t ignore this general rule of accommodation-hunting.

 

Have your smartphone handy and the camera on standby.

Bad landlords have the tendency to blame you for damages you haven’t done just because they don’t want to spend money to refurbish the flat after you leave. And because you might have forgotten to inform them of any at the beginning of your lease, they’ll try and ‘outsource’ the repairs to you. One of the most popular ways to get screwed by a landlord in Barcelona.

get screwed by a landlord

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A great way to avoid this is by taking pictures. And I mean a lot of them. Find every nuke and cranny where a sticking nail or a scratch cold be placed and photograph it for evidence. Don’t worry that your landlords might find you fussy or weird. You are in your right to know everything about your future temporary home. Also this would be a perfect time to point out any flaws or damages to your landlord that you want fixed. You should print up the photos and have them attached to the contract as an annex.

 

Trial and error.

A good way to guarantee your satisfaction with your future flat is to literally touch everything. Sometimes landlords would intentionally keep information from you about malfunctioning or broken appliances. This is when you come in. Don’t hesitate to test anything you might consider dodgy. Make sure that you will be comfortable with every piece of appliance and furniture in the flat. So a few good things to try out would definitely be the bed in the bedroom, if you are a passionate TV lover, the TV set is a must. Another thing you should make sure works properly are the faucets and the showers. You would be surprised how many times tenants forget to check the water pressure in the shower, which makes showering a not so relaxing experience as it should be.

get screwed by a landlord

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t be afraid to demand a repair on something beforehand. But be aware, if the landlord doesn’t get to it before you guys sign the lease be certain that any future problems you might experience will not be dealt with very quickly either.

 

Do a background check on your landlord.

It is always a good idea to know what you are getting into. Unless you have a friend or a family member working for the CIA or any of the other Intelligence agencies, I suggest you conduct your own background check on your landlord.
Talking to the neighbours to get some insight on your landlord would be one way. Despite the common believe that you should keep your nose out of other people’s business, neighbours sometimes hear or see things unintentionally (or not) so checking with them might be bring you some leads.

Previous tenants would a good source too. A lot of times landlords would have their previous tenants’ contact details and emails so you could always request that from them. As a first-hand experience in dealing with a landlord, ex-tenants would give you the most insight and best advice about the homeowners.

 

It’s time for the paperwork.

The following advice is supported by personal experience. If you are a student on an exchange program or a professional who is being relocated to another country and you do not speak the language of the country in which you’ll be entering an apartment, then my dear friends, have that lease translated and legalized.
Sometimes you are just too excited to travel to another country and all you want is to find a flat quickly so you can go out and experience your new life. And when the moment comes to sign your lease, because you are that excited and overwhelmed you sometimes overlook a few details. Well, gang, that guy was me a few months back. Not being aware of one tiny detail about my lease led to a whole month of stress and sleepless nights. Even if you can’t get it translated (In Barcelona for contracts to be binding they must be in either Spanish or Catalán, you have other choices. The best is to get them to send you the contract a few days before you sign so you can take it to a third party (friend or lawyer, or google translate) and make sure that it is above board and standard.

get screwed by a landlord

 

So if you are a victim of the monster called ‘language barrier’, always ask for your lease to be translated beforehand or at the very least verbally translated to you. It is always good to have a copy of your new contract in your native language (or whatever language you can speak) in case your landlords are trying to pull your leg.

Another useful thing to do is before you sign the lease, get a copy of it from your landlord and send it out to anyone you may know that can help you ‘decipher’ it and scan it for issues. Again from personal experience let me just say that moms are ALWAYS right. True story.

 

 

 

There you have it, gang, the best tips to ensure you will never ever will be screwed by a landlord in Barcelona. Following these 5 steps will make your apartment-hunting much easier and much more satisfying for you. Tell us in the comment section below if you have had any crazy experiences with bad landlords.

 

Now for your joke:

Q: If you were to drop a Slug and a Landlord off the roof of the 600 foot tall Calgary Tower, which one will hit the ground sooner?
A: Who Cares?

 

Sincerely,

Chris

Rental Price Secrets Revealed About the Barcelona Real Estate Market!

Rental price secrets revealed about the Barcelona real estate market!

Greetings, SuiteLife gang.

This week I decided to get you involved in some of the Barcelona real estate secrets about renting properties. Don’t worry, it won’t be about boring spread sheets, stats and numbers (well, maybe just a little), but rather useful information about what to expect about a property you might be interested in when you see something like this: “12€/m2″.

Barcelona real estate

I do understand how tedious apartment-hunting is (been there, done that), but the worst part is when you find yourself torn between a couple of flats and simply cannot find the strength in you to pick one. So guys, let me try and make your life a bit easier with this insider blog I’ve put together, so you can pick the right apartment in Barcelona that will bring you the most value for your money.

Quick overview

So as you may or may not know, rental properties in Spain are often priced per square meter (for our American readers, 1m2 is the equivalent of 10 square feet). So my previous example – “12€/m2″, would mean that if your desired property is 60m2 your monthly rent will come up to 720€ (60×12). Easy math, simple enough. However, there is more to this three-digit number than just indicating the price. There are different price categories, concerning the Barcelona real estate market, that are tightly connected to the area in which the property is situated, its surroundings, proximity to popular attractions and sites and its overall state and classification. Whether an apartment is categorized as a luxury accommodation or not you can often find out from its price per square meter. If you know the average prices per square metre in a neighbourhood, it’s a great way to assess and compare the properties you are looking at possibly renting. So gang, if you want to become an expert in properly judging a property on first glance, I suggest you read along.

Barcelona real estate

 

 

 

 

 

 

In order to estimate a property’s features we need to be aware of some key facts about the Barcelona real estate market. So as you can image Barcelona has the one of the highest average rent prices per square meter in the whole of Spain (9.50€ to be exact). Also Barcelona is one of the top five cities in Spain to have a relatively high annual increase on rental prices. Real estate market research estimates an annual rise of 7.3%. Simply put, prices always change and more often than not they rise than drop. So take that into account. Although you probably see the newspapers talking about how bad the economy is here, Barcelona is very special and is simply not representative of Spain as a whole.  In order to make an educated choice we should always check the current prices of the market. If you are still reading and finding this blog useful, then I bet you’ll find our free E-book on Apartment hunting in Barcelona priceless. Now that you are informed let’s get to the good stuff.

 

General breakdown of rental prices in Barcelona

Back to basics

 

Barcelona real estate

10€/m2. What you see here, my people, is one of the better offers you have stumbled upon while looking for apartments. What I would suggest is that if you are looking for a descent apartment without any delusional expectations for something ‘out of this world’ stick to this price range. In terms of good quality accommodation, anything close to or less than 10€/m2 is considered below market value. When it comes to location, don’t raise your hopes you too much. I’m not saying the apartment will be in the outskirts of the city but I’m not saying it will be right in the middle of Plaza Catalunya either. The hot spots in Barcelona might be a couple of metro stops away, but hey, as one of my favorite sayings go: ‘There is no full happiness’. With that said, you could find something at that price that is super central, and maybe not in the best condition. Everything is always relative and comparative so you must take these prices per square meters as a guideline.

Location, location, location…

10€/m2 – 14€/m2. An apartment which falls into this price range, guys, you should consider well priced. These properties are usually well located in one of the most popular neighborhoods in Barcelona. This price range is the most common for descent, well-furnished accommodations and if you are financially conscious but don’t make excuses when it comes to living a good lifestyle, you have just found your ideal apartment. . Here are the price ranges for the most popular and preferred neighborhoods in the city:

Cuitat Vella – 12.75 €/m2

Eixample – 11.84 €/m2

Gracia – 10.61 €/m2

Les Corts – 11.99 €/m2

Sant Marti – 11.33 €/m2

Sarria – Sant Gervasi – 12.74 €/m2

Barcelona real estate

As you can see, apartments ranging from 10€/m2 – 14€/m2 are highly likely they’ll be located in one of the best areas Barcelona has to offer. If you are considering to enter into one of these properties what you should expect is great views, walking distances to Barcelona’s main hot spots and neighborhoods full of life. Don’t forget to check out our popular post on the 5 top neighbourhoods in Barcelona.

Luxury straight ahead.

Barcelona real estate

 

15 €/m2 and above. Unless of the odd chance that properties might not be well-priced in accordance with the market state, prepare yourselves to witness luxury at its finest. Properties that are priced at 15 € or above per square meter are the definition of luxury. Do you remember when I said ‘There is no full happiness’? Scratch that. These apartments have a feature or a combination of several features that make them more expensive but totally worth it. Excellent quality, extremely well-furnished or situated in the most perfect locations possible is what one of the finer properties the Barcelona real estate market can offer you. If you are not concerned about your budget and indulge in a luxury lifestyle, I would highly advise you to invest your time and money into these gems of the real estate market. However, if the flat seems to be, for all intents and purposes, ‘normal’, and the price is at 15 € / m2 or above, this is a great signal that the flat is too expensive and is not priced properly in accordance to the market. This is good to keep in mind in order to weed out expensive options.

The bottom line here, my peeps, is that if you are paying 15 €/m2 a month or more, there is, or there should be something very special about your apartment.

Barcelona real estate

That was all from me for this week, gang. I hope you found this information useful and that now you know what to expect when you’re on the hunt for apartments in Barcelona. And if you feel exceptionally generous today, why not leave us a comment down below? I thank you in advance.

We all have different budgets for sure, but using this general guideline and comparing apartments in Barcelona based on their price per square meter will give you the best idea about how much value you are getting and will also allow you to do proper comparisons across the different neighbourhoods.

If you’re looking to rent a mid or long term apartment in Barcelona please check out our flats for rent, or you can contact us any time and we’d be more than happy to help you as we are experts. We’d also love to hear your feedback or questions below in the comments!

 

Sincerely,

Chris

 

Starting a Business in Barcelona – long story short!

How to start a business in Spain

Starting a business in Barcelona – 10 simple steps to success!

Good day entrepreneurs all over the world, feeling a bit creative today? In that case, I guess it’s time for some informative yet necessary stuff if you want to know the steps of starting a business in Barcelona. Spain is one of the most beautiful countries and has a lot to offer so, as knowledge is power, this blog will be providing you with all the info that needs to be considered in order to have your magical ‘willywonk’-ish $$$ making pond here (oh and we’ve made it so that starting a business in Barcelona is easy).

 

Starting a Business in Barcelona Step#1: Getting the famous NIE

NIE, or Numero de Identificacion de Extranjero (Foreigner Identification Number) is a document without which you cannot undertake any commercial action in Spain. The whole procedure on how to get it can be found here. The NIE can be used for other purposes as well, such as paying taxes or buying a property.

 

Starting a business in Barcelona

 

Starting a Business in Barcelona Step#2: Other preliminary documentation

Make sure you have the following paperwork ready and valid: passport and Certificado de Empadronamiento (Community Registration Certificate), details for which you can find by clicking here. You will need these in order to proceed to Starting a business in Barcelona Step #3.

 

Starting a business in Barcelona

 

Starting a business in Barcelona Step#3: Certificacion negativa de la denominación social

Certificacion negativa de la denominacion social means certifying the uniqueness of the proposed company name, which will officially provide you with complete rights on the actual name of the company and will be reserved for 6 months after you’ve chosen it. In order to obtain it you will have to go to the Central Commercial Registry (Registro Mercantil which can be found here), it costs 16.25€, and usually takes around 2 days.

Starting a business in Barcelona

 

Starting a business in Barcelona Step#4: Pay the Impuesto de Actividades Económicas

Next step is to pay the Impuesto de Actividades Economicas, which literally translates into Tax for Economic Activities. Practically it’s the tax that you have to pay to the Government to let you undergo a commercial action. It can be done in the Delegacion Especial de Economia y Hacienda, map right here. It is different, depending on the business. After you’ve done that, you will get the Codigo the Identificacion Fiscal (CIF) – tax identification code. This tax ranges from 150€ to 300€, depending on the amount of share capital deposited.

 

Starting a business in Barcelona

 

Starting a business in Barcelona Step#5: Open a corporate bank account

Why do you need a corporate bank account? Well, for several reasons. Firstly, it’s the place where your income will go when people make payments in exchange of your goods or services. Secondly, this where the government will be deducting the taxes from, so it’s kind of mandatory for you to have one. It takes about one day to create one and it’s free of charge. Note that you have to be pretty much a morning person, as banks here only work from 9am until 2pm (with an exception on Thursdays when they work 9am-8pm). Also bear in mind that you need to make deposit of a minimum 3005.06€ representing your intial start-up capital.

 

Starting a business in Spain

Starting a business in Barcelona Step#6: Make an appointment with a notary

You’re almost done with the paperwork. With the documents mentioned above you will now have to schedule a meeting with a notary in order to get them officially signed and stamped with the purpose of being presented to the Starting a business in Barcelona Step #6. Brace yourselves, as you’re going to be paying a little high price for couple of stamps – around 500€, depending on the operation complexity.

 

Starting a business in Barcelona

Starting a business in Barcelona Step#7: Find your operating site

The next logical step is to know where your operations will be taking place. Accordingly, you will need the documents that prove that you either own or are using a rented office, restaurant, warehouse etc. (obviously depending on the area of your business). With these, you will then proceed to Starting a business in Barcelona Step#8.

Starting a business in Barcelona

 

Starting a business in Barcelona Step#8: Obtain the Licencia Municipal de Apertura from the Ayuntamiento

Now it’s time for you to register your place of operations with the Ayuntamiento (City Hall) – here – with the papers mentioned above and apply for the Licencia Municipal de Apertura (Municipal Opening License) from the City Hall’s Departamento de Urbanismo (City Planning Department), which basically means that you let the City Hall know you are starting your commercial activity in that specified site. Charges -> 350€.

Starting a business in Barcelona

Starting a business in Barcelona Step#9: Register for the social services

For 240€ a month worth of tax, you will be registered for the welfare and health social services, meaning that you are pretty much covered by the social insurance in case something bad happens while at work. You can benefit from some more options if you extra (around €25 a month).

Starting a business in Barcelona

 

Starting a business in Barcelona Step#10: Register your people

Unless you are a one man business, you are going to need some more human resources to run your thingy. Consequently every person you take on has to be registered at the Tesoreria General de la Seguridad Social (Social Security General Treasury) and then within 10 days time at the Instituto Nacional de Empleo (National Employment Institute).

 

 

And that’s it! That’s all you need to know about the process of starting a business in Barcelona. Now the hard part begins – the actual money making. From us here, we wish you the best of luck with everything involving your business and we are happy to have helped you!

So…

Muchisimas gracias,

Dragosh (El Dragon).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Volunteering in Barcelona – giving back to the community!

Volunteering in Barcelona

Volunteering in Barcelona

If you’re looking to do some volunteering in Barcelona then congrats on being such a magnificent and selfless person! Did you know that Barcelona was named the European Capital of Volunteering for 2014?  In case you didn’t, you can find some info about that by clicking here! This blog will tell you about the three best volunteering agencies in Barcelona. They each have tons of varied opportunities so getting in touch with them is the perfect start to your altruistic adventure.

 

CONNECT123

Volunteering in Barcelona

Connect 123 is one of Barcelona’s volunteering programmes with great connections with local organisations, such as Animal Science and Wildlife, Community Service, Economic Development, Education and Teaching, Environment, Human Rights, Medical and Public Health, or Youth Development and Sport. Take a look here at their website!

 

BCA BARCELONA

Volunteering in Barcelona

With a very wide range of volunteering programmes such as Terral,  Bank of Time, Tot Raval, or Colegio Gornal, in which they address topics like immigration, talent harvesting, event planning or gender equality, BCA Barcelona provides multiple chances especially for students that want to enhance their CVs (or resumes, if you come from America!). Click here to get the latest updates from them!

 

CHARITY VAULT

Volunteering in Barcelona

Charity Vault is a website dedicated to providing volunteering opportunities for people worldwide. Obviously they couldn’t miss Barcelona, now, could they? That’s why they’ve got a huge volunteering portfolio just for you. To give you some examples – from research, hunger and poverty alleviation, environment, till education and disaster management. Interested much? Take a peek here at their website!

Volunteering in Barcelona is a very rewarding experience. Do you know of any other great opportunities that we missed here? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

 

Muchisimas gracias,

Dragosh (El Dragon)

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