Six weeks or more of summer holidays can seem like a long time to navigate if you are working parents and you live together as a couple. If you are separated, school holiday time can also feel complicated and stressful.
Here are some things to think about when it comes to school holidays for a smooth and relaxing break for all:
1. Communication is key
If you have an agreed arrangement of time in place it would be courteous to inform the other parent where your child is going to be while you are working. If you have booked holiday clubs, you should ensure that the other parent is noted down as an emergency contact as appropriate. Likewise, if you are relying on family or friends to look after your child it is just as important to ensure that they have the other parent’s contact details if required.
2. Plan in advance
Some holiday clubs and/or holiday childcare can be oversubscribed and have age limits so it is sensible to plan in advance to avoid disappointment.
Generally, unless there is a court order or agreement in place you will be responsible for the cost of childcare or summer holiday clubs while your child is in your care.
4. Cannot agree?
If you cannot agree on your child’s arrangement of time during the school holidays it may be a good idea to consider trying mediation to help you reach an agreement that could be drawn up into a Parenting Plan. This could include your preferred choice of school holiday childcare when your child is with you and an agreement on the financial aspects of childcare.
5. Last resort
If mediation or any other alternative dispute resolution is unsuccessful in helping you to reach an agreement, you could make an application to the court for the court to determine the time your child spends with you over the school holidays. If necessary, an application could also be made to the court in relation to the payment of the cost of the school holiday childcare provision.
We have a large number of specially trained mediators at Russell-Cooke who are approved or accredited by the Family Mediation Council. All discussions with our mediators are face-to-face (either in person, or remotely over Zoom) and confidential. During the joint sessions, you can choose whether to sit in the same room as your partner, or in a separate room.