Parental Support hub

The Bar Council is committed to improving rates of retention for barrister parents, and aims to provide useful sources of information and assistance to enable parents to manage their parental leave and childcare responsibilities whilst maintaining a practice at the self-employed or employed Bar.


The Bar Council's career break advice and parental leave policy

The Bar Council have put together an information pack which includes advice, tips and checklists for all those taking a career at the Bar.

View the family career breaks advice pack

The content is regularly updated to ensure we provide current and useful information.

The Bar Council is keen to share the latest in good practice to support you in either temporarily closing down your practise, or re-starting your practise before or after a career break to have a family.

If you would like to share your experience, a tip or piece of advice with other barristers or you have identified gaps in our advice and would like further information on any issue relating to a family career break, please contact us using the details below so that we can include this in future versions of the guide.

T:  +44 (0)20 7611 1320


 You can find further information at the links below.


Nurseries for Barrister's children

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The Bar Council is proud to announce its association with the Smithfield Nursery and Tiny Tree Day Nursery. The Bar Council has established a relationship with these nurseries (located in London and Leeds), with the aim of providing barrister parents with flexible and affordable childcare options.

The nurseries at Smithfield House (London) and Tiny Tree Day Nursery (Leeds) offer barristers special rates and more flexible opening hours to accommodate barrister parents' schedules. Special rates are available to all members of the Bar, as well as chambers and Bar Council employees.

 The experience of barrister parents (and children) at these nurseries has been positive, as these parents attest to: 

 "I could not have remained at the self-employed Bar without the Smithfield House Nursery.  They have opened before 8am for me on several occasions so that I could get to court on time.  They are flexible about occasional lateness when hearings overrun.  And of course, because they are central, I am able to drop my daughter off and still get a train from London, whereas if I had had to drop her locally at 8am there is no way I could travel into London and then out to court on time."

"I know that retention of new parents at the Bar is an issue. Certainly I would not have been able to come back with such ease or to remain in self-employed practice without the Bar Nursery. Smithfield House is an absolutely brilliant resource; their ability to facilitate barristers returning to practice extends well beyond the capacity of other nurseries."

For further information on the nurseries and to find out more about placing your child at one of these nurseries, please visit the links below:

Smithfield House Nursery

Tiny Tree Day Nursery

If you have any queries regarding these nurseries, or our support for parents please contact Sam Mercer at