Monday, August 24, 2020

Working Mothers: Unsung Heroes

Back in the good old pre-Covid days of 2019, most preschoolers went to day care. The 59 percent majority of children aged 0 to 5 and not yet in kindergarten participated in regularly scheduled nonparental care at least weekly, according to the Early Childhood Program Participation Survey. Among children whose mother and father worked full-time, 86 percent were in day care in 2019.

Fast forward to today. The coronavirus pandemic is making it all but impossible for many parents to work now that children are at home rather than in day care or at school. How many parents are unable to work because of these child care issues? A lot, according to the Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey. Among adults aged 18 to 64, a substantial 18 percent reported as of mid-July that they were not working because of Covid-19 related child care issues. Among adults aged 25 to 44, almost one in four (24 percent) were not working because of the lack of child care during the pandemic. Among women aged 25 to 44, the figure was 31 percent.

Percent of 25-to-44-year-olds not working due to Covid-19 related child care issues, July 16-21
Total: 18.2%
Men: 11.6%
Women: 30.9%

"Parents are among the unsung heroes of this crisis," notes the Census Bureau. "They have adapted their households and juggled work, children's schooling and other household needs. However, the pandemic uniquely affected mothers' work in formal labor markets."

Source: Census Bureau, Working Moms Bear Brunt of Home Schooling while Working during Covid-19

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