Marikay Mc Cabe
What is your name, age, where do you live and how long have you lived in Madrid?
Marikay Mc Cabe I have lived in Madrid for almost 10 years.
Do you work, and if so what do you do?
Director of the Madrid Montessori School and part-time Professor at St. Louis University in Madrid
What nationality are you?
How many children do you have and what are their names and ages?
Just one, Olive aged 5.
What was your experience of having a baby in Madrid? (if relevant)
Not very nice.
How did you find the process of adjusting to life in Madrid after having a child?
Before having a child most of my friends were Spanish after having a child they were mostly English speaking foreigners because I was looking for a community who shared similar views on childrearing.
How well integrated would you say you and your children are?
What language do you speak to your children?
What has your impression been of childcare and education in Madrid so far?
Very different than what I am used to in the US., so much so that I decided to set up a school.
What school does your child go too?
Madrid Montessori School
Why did you choose that school?
When I looked there were no truly bilingual schools that offered an alternative pedagogy in the center of Madrid so I started one.
How do you rate the amenities available for parents and children in Madrid?
In some ways Madrid is a child friendly city, but many amenities are not self-evident, it can be hard to find your way.
Where you live, how good are facilities for children (shops, restaurants, activities etc)?
It’s all relative. I don’t go to restaurants much and we depend on the Retiro Park for a lot for entertainment. It’s nice that Spaniards tend to take their children out with them and that people give children lots of positive attention. There is a good public library(restrictive opening hours) and swimming pool nearby.
What do you think are the main advantages and disadvantages of being a parent from the International Community living in Madrid?
The main advantages is that Madrid offers a slower pace than many other major cities and is more manageable in terms of size. And, of course the sun! Disadvantages: Difficult to find out about and sign up for activities for children – they are frequently oversubscribed. And, in certain months the sun is a major disadvantage.
Is there anything you think would improve children’s lives in Madrid?
If it were easier for parents to find out details regarding children’s activities where, when, and how to sign up for activities it would be very useful.
What could you live without?!