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Tumbit : Jo Green - Having a Baby in Spain

Jo Green, 34, has been living & working in Spain with her long term partner for 5 years. As a "Professional Career Woman" in the UK she always believed that being a Mum was something that happened to other women. However, on moving to Spain she has found herself succesfully managing a career and being a full time Mum to an unplanned (but much loved) Baby Daughter. Things in life change, things don't go to plan... Jo tell's how it's those that can and are willing to adapt to change that generally succeed in making a life in Spain.

Registering For School in Spain - Part 2
11 October 2010 @ 13:12

Click here to read Registering for School – Part 1.

We knew from other parents at our daughter's nursery that school registration week was between the 4th and 14th of May, so came back from a week’s break in the UK with that weighing on our mind.

On taking her to nursery on our first day back, we were given a registration pack that had been left there for us. Whether a number of these packs had been taken by the school to the nursery, or whether the nursery had specifically gone to the school on behalf of the parents, I don’t know – either way it was quite helpful.

The other thing that was helpful was the fact that the covering form detailing the registration process was in both Spanish, Valencian and English!

The first form was just the basic details about my daughter and us as parents (Names, address, Date of Birth, NIE and SIPS numbers), and on the reverse it clearly stated what documents should accompany the registration. Basically all that was needed was a Medical certificate (specifically for school starters detailing any health issues); a copy of the birth certificate OR the ‘libretto de familia’; a copy of the Padron; and a copy of both parents NIE OR Passports.

All in all quite straightforward!

A second form was in the pack (this time issued by the Communitat Valencia and unfortunately not in English) asking a for a few of the same details and also asking for what I believed to be instructions for her religious education.

Finally came a form (in Spanish) for one of the parents to sign to give permission for the child to take part in any activities outside school premises.

All of these forms and documents were to be presented at the school between these dates in order to register her to start classes in September.

Although my Spanish can only be described as ‘passable’ at the best of times, the whole process was surprisingly straightforward and easy – I basically presented the documents, the secretary then stamped one of the copies and passed it back to me as conformation that she was now officially ‘in the system’.

The exact date when school was to commence was as yet unknown (they almost always aim for the 7th or 8th of September, I was told) but that somebody from the school would call us to inform us of the exact date and procedure. Classes would initially be for 1 hour a day (accompanied by parent) for the first week, rising to 2 hours the next week (still accompanied by a parent), and so on, in order to get the child used to a full school day. A ‘proper’ school day would be in place by the start of October.

Procedural matters in Spain never cease to amaze me – some things (like trying to correct an incorrect SUMA bill) often take multiple phone calls or visits, and reams of paperwork, whilst the seemingly important stuff (like obtaining a residencia certificate or registering for school) are more often than not achieved quite painlessly!

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