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Public daycares in Barcelona: how to apply and deadlines

Updated: Apr 22

Public daycare are funded by the Government and have fixed criterias to access as well as specific deadlines to apply. They tend to have great spaces, a broad variety of materials and most of them have similar educational projects (curriculum) with catalan as the main language in class. They’re well regarded in the city.


They have fixed ratios set by the Government which are the following ones:

  1. P0 - Kids less than 1 year*: 8 kids per teacher

  2. P1 - Kids between 1 and 2 years*: 13 kids per teacher

  3. P2 - Kids between 2 and 3 years*: 20 kids per teacher

In some cases, these ratios are complemented with additional resources (auxiliar educador/a). Worth asking the public daycare that you're interested to understand their specifics.


* Years are based on birth year regardless of the month the kids were born. This is different from other countries where the years are calculated based on the birth dates.


How to apply

The number of applications to most public daycares tend to be higher than the actual number of places available hence the fact that they need to set specific criterias to access.


There’s a system of points in order to prioritise the list of applications. Below the details of the scenarios that give the most points.

  1. 50 points: you will get the most points if you already have another kid (sibling) enrolled in the public daycare.

  2. 30 points: if you live in the area of influence of the first-chosen school (neighbourhood where you are registered/empadronado).

  3. 20 points: if one of the parents works in the area of influence of the first-chosen school.


For more details about the other scenarios with lower points as well as complementary points, you can check the below link.


Point system criteria


If there are more applications than places offered a lottery will take place in order to determine the starting point for the counting for each of the point categories (ie - 50 points). The number that gets assigned to each application for the lottery is random and has nothing to do with the order of application.



How much they cost

Public daycare fares are calculated based on the income of the family and the number of family members. The income is based on the amount declared in la declaración de la renta (TAX annual declaration). The maximum fare to pay in Public daycare is 395eur. The fare is reduced if your kid doesn’t stay for lunch.



Is every family guaranteed a spot? What happens if you don't?

Not necessarily. If you don't get a spot, you can select to be added to the waiting list of the options you’ve chosen. In case there’s a vacancy afterwards and you’re next on the waiting list, you will have a chance to apply. In case there are no places available at a public daycare, you will have to apply to a private one.


During the year, the vacancies of the public daycares are published in the link below.


Vacancies in Public daycares during the year



Kids playing at a daycare


When to apply

The enrolment process (matricula) starts at the beginning of May and goes until the end of June. Below you will find the relevant dates:



From 20 April to 04 May: opening days where you can visit public daycares. Below the opening dates per daycare. Worth calling them to see if they have places available.


Opening days Public daycares


From 5 to 18 May: submission of applications.


26 May: list of applications with the provisional score.


From 27 May to 2 June: submission of claims in case there are errors in the points assigned to your application.


3 June: raffle to resolve the applications tied with points.


7 June: definite sorted list published from highest to lowest scores.


15 June: definite admission list and waiting list published for each daycare.


From 16 to 22 June: matriculation period.



Support with application process - BysBCN

Do you feel like you could use some help with the application process? Do you need support valuing the different daycare options available in your area? Feel free to contact us. We offer a discovery call option to understand what you need and how we can help.



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