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Working as an au pair or baby sitter

In addition to doing an Erasmus Exchange in Barcelona, there is also the possibility of spending a few months in the capital of Catalonia working as an au pair or baby sitter: you can find some tips about how this works in this article! 

An Au Pair in Barcelona
An Au Pair in Barcelona

Working as an au pair

Working as an au pair will provide you with the opportunity to live abroad for a while, being welcomed by a local family who will provide you with somewhere to live, your meals and a monthly salary in exchange for helping with the children and sometimes, some light domestic work. The common objective for the au pair and the family is to achieve a cultural exchange where you can learn about each other's customs and something about the language of the country you come from and are staying in.  We're talking about an experience which will normally last for a minimum of two months and a maximum of a year and a half in which the au pair teaches their language to the child (or children) in the family and at the same time, learns in detail about the lifestyle of the country in which they are living as much as about the language, culture and local daily customs.  It is almost like an alternative holiday during which, you will be doing some work but are able to have some fun as well without having to worry too much about how much money you are spending on somewhere to live and buying food.  

 A Baby sitter with some children in Barcelona
A Baby sitter with some children in Barcelona

Obviously, it is important to be aware of how much money you are spending and to keep control of your money (this isn't a full time job but a contribution to your living expenses by the family for whom you are working which is usually between €200 - €400 per month).  The best way to become an au pair is to create your profile on the Au pair World website and then look for a host family.  This website is one of the most frequently used in the world, it's free and guarantees immediate responses through the internal messaging platform on the internet (which you can opt out of at any time and then move the conversation onto Skype or some other means of communication once the initial contact information has been exchanged).  On the website, both the family's profile and the au pair's profile can be created and, depending on what you are looking for, the initial criteria are simple: clarity, precision and honesty.  Your profile must be completed with accurate and important personal information, (if you are going to work as an au pair then you must provide details about your age and your experience. If you are a family seeking to employ an au pair, then you need to state clearly if it will be necessary for the au pair to undertake some chores in the home as well as providing the services of a baby sitter and details of where your house is located). This detailed information is what will enable the filtering system on the search to find the most appropriate offers for you.   

Working as an au pair in Barcelona

Barcelona is a city where there are plenty of people working as an au pair, in fact, there is even a Facebook group which will help you to find out about families who are looking for an au pair or to exchange information and contacts with other au pairs who are already enjoying this experience in Barcelona so that you can get to know them and maybe meet up and socialize together.  The requirements of the families that are looking for an au pair in Barcelona will be quite varied: there are some who just want the au pair for half a day, some who want help in the evenings and at weekends, some who will let their au pair be "off" at the weekends and some who will want the au pair to accompany the family when they go away or go out on an excursion.  Many of the families will live in the city, but there will be plenty of others who live in the areas around Barcelona and will quite often provide the au pair with a pass for using the city's public transport  in order to get around in their free time or, they might pay for a Spanish language course in one of the colleges that organize language classes for foreigners in Barcelona.  It isn't unusual to find a foreign family who have moved to Barcelona for different reasons and are looking for assistance from someone who has a good knowledge of Spanish or English.  Or, they may even be looking for a fellow countryman who can help to ensure that the children don't lose their mother tongue.  The requirements can be very varied and the best way to find the right family or the perfect au pair is to do a search on the internet and get to learn about the individual lifestyles that each person or family is comfortable with and would like to share in an experience such as this. 

A family strolling in front of the Arco del Triunfo
A family strolling in front of the Arco del Triunfo

Working as a baby sitter in Barcelona 

It's easy to find work in Barcelona as a baby sitter, (or as a nanny). If you are a student and you like the idea of alternating between your studies and doing a little bit of work or, if you are a mother and you're looking for someone reliable who can give you a helping hand on a daily basis with your children or your domestic chores, you should have a look at the website called Top Nanny. This is a website which facilitates the meeting between families and a baby sitter who is looking for work.  As usual, the first thing you'll need to do is to create an online profile on the internet and then start your search for a family or a baby sitter via the search engines that are available.  The system works based on location and enables you to identify the profiles that are close to the registered residential address. However, it isn't always possible to contact all the users of the website: in order to do this, you will need to pay a subscription which will enable you to unlock all the contact information such as the telephone number or the email address.  When using the free access, it is still possible to send messages through the system that has been set up on the internet and/or express interest - depending on the type of access the other party has. Another way of searching is to look at the ads for those who are offering themselves as a baby sitter in Barcelona or families in the city who are looking for a baby sitter.  You can find this on the internet at the Tablón de Anuncios by looking in the section entitled  "Baby Sitters in Barcelona".

If you're looking for work in Barcelona, we would recommend the articles entitled Working in Barcelona and Working as a freelancer in Barcelona which you can find on this website.

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