Today Employers For Childcare published their 11th Northern Ireland Childcare Survey, which this year includes a snapshot survey of parents’ experiences of childcare and work during Covid-19 .
The report reveals that:
▶️ Three quarters of parents had NO access to childcare for some or all of the time during the early months of the pandemic
▶️ Of those, a fifth had to use annual or unpaid leave to manage childcare while a quarter worked outside of their normal hours – early morning and late at night – to accommodate childcare during the day
▶️ Lone parents and mothers were particularly likely to have seen their ability to work impacted.
Parents told us they found the situation “stressful and challenging”, that they felt “exhausted” and struggled to juggle childcare, work and home-schooling.
Childcare providers too are reporting challenges linked to their own costs and sustainability. Prior to Covid-19, three quarters told us they were either making a loss or just breaking even – and the pandemic has only heightening the pressures.
Covid-19 has demonstrated strongly just how vital childcare is for families and to our economy – this cannot be underestimated in our society. We need to see greater investment in the sector to enable parents to access childcare and to help providers to deliver a sustainable service going forward. This needs to be a priority for the Northern Ireland Executive and Ministers must listen to the voices of the thousands of parents and providers who responded to this research and deliver the investment that’s needed.
To read the press release and report in full: http://ow.ly/PyKi30rlEbZ