42 Million Parents Whose Households Didn’t Move to Teleworking May Face Difficult Tradeoffs

Fact Sheet

42 Million Parents Whose Households Didn’t Move to Teleworking May Face Difficult Tradeoffs

Families Can Face Challenges in Finding Safe, Affordable Child Care
November 16, 2020

Abstract

Despite the media’s focus on the challenges of telecommuting parents, 42 million parents in the US—including the vast majority of those with low incomes—have not had an adult in their household move to telework during the COVID-19 pandemic. These parents can face challenging tradeoffs between working to support their family, protecting their family from COVID-19, and ensuring their children have the care and education they need to thrive. Such tradeoffs can have serious consequences for their family’s health and well-being and can be even harder given many child care programs and schools are closed or partially open.  This fact sheet summarizes data from the Federal Household Pulse Survey conducted in early September on the extent to which parents report that any adult in their household moved to telework because of the pandemic, and how these patterns differ across race, ethnicity, and income. It also explores the implications of these patterns given the current child care challenges parents face and highlights policy actions that could help.

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