While research shows that anywhere from a quarter to a third of working parents are predicted to quit their jobs to care for their children due to school closures, not every family has that luxury. For parents who have no choice but to work, a new survey shows the scope of the pandemic’s burdening effects.
A recent study commissioned by MagnifyMoney, a subsidiary of LendingTree, found that 30 percent of respondents are “terrified” of losing their job as they try to balance childcare amidst the pandemic. Another 33 percent said they were a “bit worried” about balancing the two.
The survey polled 1,019 parents of children under 18 throughout the US from late July and early August 2020. It also found that Black and Hispanic parents were more likely to be “terrified” than white and Asian parents of being let go.
With an estimated 40 percent of daycares closing their doors permanently and the prospect of finding a nanny becoming more expensive and more difficult, it’s no wonder the study found that 35 percent of working parents said they’re unable to afford a nanny or caregiver to care for their child while they work, despite wanting to do so. Further, 32 percent of respondents are considering taking on debt to cover childcare costs.
Over 6 million children are distance-learning this fall, meaning working parents are left in a bind. With no other choice than to watch the kids while they work, it’s simply impossible to give 100 percent of their attention to their children and to their job. Parents are spread thinner than ever, and with no government stimulus packages passing anytime soon, there’s no relief in sight.
Single parents and parents who don’t make enough money to be able to quit or scale down are facing the worst of the pandemic’s effects. Without flexible employers, this school year will be nearly impossible to manage without childcare.
Employers, it’s on you to show empathy and flexibility this back-to-school season. Here are a few ways you can help support your working parent employees. They need it now more than ever—and we’ll be seeing ripple effects throughout the economy if you don’t.