A growing online community is supporting expat fathers in Czechia

From custody questions to play dates, 'Dads in Prague' helps fathers navigate daily life in Czechia with a child.

Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas

Written by Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas Published on 16.06.2023 17:08:00 (updated on 17.06.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

Jason Harley, a Prague-based expat from Liverpool, has lived in the Czech capital for over 10 years. A father of three, in 2020 together with a couple of other dads, Romanians Bogdan Tofan and Cladiu Isar, he launched a Facebook group inviting dads to "share cool things you do with your kids and cool places you've been to."

Today Dads in Prague is 900 members strong and since its inception, Harley says, has "Grown into a real community with dads posting daily to plan meet-ups (with or without kids), events, activities, or just give general advice in the forum."

So what challenges do the men in the group face and how does the online community help support expat dads in Czechia?

Cover photo for the
Cover photo for the "Dads in Prague" Facebook group

Harley says that for expats in a large city like Prague, it can be difficult to connect with like-minded dads to share experiences, learn, and support each other. "Mostly it's about activities with kids, recommendations, or suggestions that then lead to meet-ups."

From connecting a new dad in town with a 3-year-old with other dads with same-age kids to heavy advice on relationships to finding a local sports team or a reputable babysitter, we have members who are all willing to share advice and support another dad in times of need no matter how small or big the ask is."

Another, perhaps deeper connection the men in the group share is their passion for positive fatherhood, the notion of a positive paternal presence, one that reduces the burden placed upon mothers and that benefits men themselves – by strengthening their nurturing skills.

Harley says that men increasingly look to the forum to learn how to parent not only as a dad in Czechia but in today's rapidly changing society.

"The world has changed and dads are so much more involved in day-to-day childcare. Of course, nobody knows all the answers so it's great to be able to ask advice from dads who have faced similar challenges or are going through similar situations and those threads are super supportive and very positive," says Harley.

The community is also there for members who face challenges related to divorce and custody battles, which according to Harley is a common theme for expat dads in Czechia.

Father's Day card
Father's Day card / Photo Elizabeth Zahradnicek Haas

"Sadly we have a lot of separated dads in the group and with Father's Day coming up it can be a tough time if dads are being denied access or going through family courts to gain shared custody of their own kids."

Harley says that while shared custody is Czech law, he and a number of men he knows are facing courtroom battles with mixed results. "There are lots of experts in the group that help fellow members with this as well," he says.

Harley says that the group has become a safe space for dads to discuss these and other issues and as such, the members decided last year to keep the group limited to "dads only." He believes the policy has helped grow the community exponentially – the group has seen its number double in the past six months.

"There are some great parents and kids sites out there but we think we are the first one dedicated to 'Dads in Prague'," he tells us.

Where to take dad on Father's Day (Den otců)? The Prague Zoo has a special afternoon planned for dads, The Beer Festival at Náplavka is sure to bring a smile to his face, and an English-friendly version of the family-friendly animated movie Elemental, which is a tale of kindred spirits, is at Kino Světozor on June 17 and 18. Read more in our weekend events wrap-up. 

Happy Father's Day to our own Expats.cz dads!

Martin Howlings with Kids
Expats.cz Founder and CEO Martin Howlings with Kaia and Chris.
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Zach and Adam, husband and son of Pavla Engel, Expats.cz Sales Director
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Expats.cz weekend editor Jason Pirodsky and Nicolas Kai
Weekend Editor Jason Pirodsky and Nicolas Kai
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