Support Bubbles and Childcare Bubbles


13 November 2020

By Farhad Islam

It has now been one week since England went into the second lockdown as a result of the continued pandemic. The second lockdown is slightly less restrictive than the first lockdown which we all experienced earlier this year. The government has allowed for support bubbles to continue as well as introducing childcare bubbles.

What is a support bubble?

If you live by yourself or are a single parent with dependent children, so there is only one adult in your home, you can expand your close support network so that it includes one other household of any size.

This is called making a ‘support bubble’ and means you are able to have close contact with them as you would if they were members of your own household. To put it simply, you can think of yourself as in a single household. You can therefore meet indoors with people in your support bubble as well as stay overnight, and visit other public places together.

At all times, you should socially distance from people you do not live with – unless they are in your support bubble.

You should not change who is in your bubble or have close contact with anyone else you do not live with. This is critical to keeping you, and your family and friends, as safe as possible.

If you or someone in your household or your support bubble is showing coronavirus symptoms, everyone in your support bubble should stay home.

If you or a member of your support bubble is contacted as part of the test and trace programme, the individual contacted should stay at home. If the individual becomes symptomatic, everyone in the support bubble should then isolate.

To access the government's guidance details on support bubbles:- CLICK HERE 

What is a childcare bubble?

A childcare bubble is where someone in one household can provide informal (meaning unpaid and unregistered) childcare to a child or children aged 13 or under in another household.

You can only use a childcare bubble for childcare – that is, where the child’s parent or regular carer is not present. You cannot use a childcare bubble to mix with another household for other reasons.

The childcare bubble therefore allows friends or family from one other household to provide informal childcare.  The childcare can be provided where necessary in any location – public or private, indoors or outdoors, including either or both of the homes from the 2 households.

This must always be between the same two households only. For example, grandparents can care for a child under the age of 13 and assist parents with unpaid childcare but the families cannot mix generally.

Childcare bubbles do not allow for play dates or parties, but it does mean that a consistent childcare relationship that is vital for somebody to get to work is allowed.

It is understood that if a child turns to the age of 14 years then the childcare bubble must cease.

It is further understood that you are able to create a support bubble and a childcare bubble.

If you have any questions or queries about childcare arrangements whether formal or informal then please do not hesitate to contact us and, a member of our family law team will be happy to assist you by offering an initial free consultation.

All of our family lawyers are members of Resolution and will be happy to assist you with any Family Law issues. For a free initial consultation please telephone on 01245 228106 or email

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.