A recent survey shows how important it is for parents that their children can attend schools and daycare centers during the pandemic. The survey, based on the Corona Compass study by DIW Berlin and infratest dimap, comes to a surprising conclusion.
Despite the onset of the fourth Corona wave, parents were significantly more satisfied with family life, child care and life in general in October than during the lockdowns last winter and spring.
They also expressed significantly fewer concerns about their children's education and economic future than they did in April. Scores here fell by about 20 percentage points. Parents with children under 16 had been surveyed online for the poll from October 19 to 29, 2021, i.e., during a period when daycare and school operations were almost unrestricted but the fourth wave was slowly picking up speed.
The authors of the study explain the change in sentiment with the presence of schools and daycare centers. "The importance of open educational and childcare facilities cannot be overestimated for parents and children, and thus for society as a whole," says Katharina Spieß, director of the Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB) and co-author of the study.
Since parents' concerns and well-being have a multi-layered and long-term impact on families and children, daycare and school closures should be seen as a last resort, according to the professor of education and family economics at FU Berlin. Even in the face of direct effects of daycare and school closures on children, policymakers should weigh possible renewed measures very carefully.
According to the results of the survey, satisfaction with regard to childcare had risen sharply, especially among parents of elementary school children. The researchers explain this by the fact that children of this age have a great need for care with limited schooling and distance learning and require more support in learning: "Both are time-intensive and probably led to great stress at the time of the daycare and school closures."
The study authors explain the fact that concerns about children's health also decreased significantly, even though infection rates in daycare centers and schools were already high in October, by the fact that parents were apparently concerned about health consequences other than Covid 19 infection in their children during the restricted daycare center and school operations.
During the first and second lockdowns, parents had significantly lower well-being and more worries about their children than before the pandemic, according to studies.
Image by Vidhyarthi Darpan