Organising “Special-Day” Childcare When You Are Separated

Why it’s Important to Organise Childcare on High Days, Holidays and Special Days When You Are Separated or Divorced

Family life is busy and the unexpected can always happen. Take the passing of our monarch earlier this year for instance, when a short-notice bank holiday was announced many individuals, families and business had to rethink their existing schedules and plans.

Children of school age have at least 14 weeks of non-school days per year. Add teacher training/inset days, bank holidays and other events and the number of non-school days can easily be approaching 16 weeks, nearly one-third of the calendar year.

In addition to the above, children and their immediate and extended families have several “special days” to add to those existing holidays. These may be birthdays, anniversaries, or other family events which may or may not fall within the parenting schedule for separate parents. So, how best is it to communicate, organise and accommodate these special days with all the other ‘pulls’ on family time?

Why should this be planned in advance?

A graphic of a calendar

If these days or events are not agreed or even considered it can cause unnecessary tension, arguments, and stress between separated parents, putting children in the centre of this conflict. This can lead to existing arrangements easily falling apart and children becoming uncertain as to their familiar routine.

Early consideration should also be given to other special days such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. It is best that these discussions take place at the beginning of any conversation surrounding child arrangements. We can help in reaching an agreement that will be followed for years to come.

How should I organise these times?

Of course in these situations, communication is key as well as time and planning ahead. We can help you by advising how best to communicate your proposals and how best to approach the situation. We can assist with advice on what steps can be taken to protect you should your former partner decide to go back on any agreement reached.

We can also help you reach an agreement that works for you and your children by giving careful consideration when planning ahead and working out how your children’s birthdays and those of their parents and wider family can be enjoyable memory-making occasions.

Moreover, there are a range of parenting apps and software applications which have been designed to help parents organise their parenting journey and we can advise you on the different options available to you.

Your Next Steps

Get in touch today to book a consultation with our family team and begin planning the year ahead. We will be able to provide you with advice on how to raise and reach agreement on these special days. Call us on 01273 604 123, or you can send us an email at or fill in our enquiry form.


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Speak to one of our solicitors today. We would love to hear from you and discuss any legal issues you may have and how we can assist you.

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