Parents are better off in the fourth wave

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 result.

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Despite the beginning of the fourth corona wave, parents were significantly more satisfied with family life, childcare and life in general in October than in the lockdowns last winter and spring.

Less worries about education and the economic future

They also expressed far fewer worries about the education and economic future of their children than in April. Here the values ​​fell by around 20 percentage points. Parents with children under the age of 16 were surveyed online for the survey from October 19 to 29, 2021, i.e. in a period in which 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 mood with the face-to-face operation in schools and daycare centers. “Open educational and care facilities cannot be overestimated in terms of their importance for parents and children and thus society as a whole,” said Katharina Spieß, director of the Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB) and co-author of the study.

Daycare and school closings as a last resort

Since the concerns and well-being of parents have a complex and long-term influence on families and children, closing daycare centers and schools should be seen as the very last resort, according to the professor of educational and family economics at the Free University of Berlin. In view of the direct effects of daycare and school closings on children, politicians should carefully weigh up possible new measures.

Parents of elementary school children most burdened

According to the results of the survey, the satisfaction level with regard to childcare had risen sharply, especially among parents of primary school children. The researchers explain this by the fact that children of this age have a great need for care and need more support in learning when school is limited and distance learning is limited: “Both are time-consuming and have probably led to great stress at the time the day-care center and school were closed.”

The authors of the study explain that concerns about the health of children have also decreased significantly, although the number of infections in daycare centers and schools was high in October, with the fact that parents apparently also concern themselves with other health consequences in the restricted daycare and school operations than they caused a Covid-19 infection in their children.

During the first and second lockdowns, studies have shown that parents had significantly less well-being and more worries about their children than before the pandemic.

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