The long-term effects of Covid-19 have changed the way many parents see childcare – and they’re turning to their employers for help.
In a survey of over 1,000 parents, nearly three-quarters said they need more childcare, or for their existing arrangements to be more flexible as a long-term result of the pandemic.
A quarter of them said their need for childcare support had increased whilst only 10 per cent said it had reduced. At the same time, almost half said they’d need the same amount going forward, but their needs would be more ad-hoc and flexible.
And what’s clear, is that many are expecting their Employers to offer additional support.
Ninety -four per cent of working parents told researchers for the childcare app Bubble it was important, even vital, for their employer to support them. It would increase their loyalty to the business (85%) and boost their productivity too (76%).
But, despite this, 73 per cent of parents – equating to 27 million people in the UK – said their workplace offered them no access or financial support when it comes to childcare.
Tara Grossman, a partner at a London Law firm, is an advocate says she couldn’t have coped without an app to help her juggle work and three children.
“Covid has made the juggle between my work and family life that much harder. In my line of work, I see the difference between employers who are supporting their parents on this issue and those who aren’t. It’s something all businesses should be investing in, particularly if you want to attract and retain the best people, it’s a no brainer.”
Bubble founder Ari Last, said it was time for employers to catch up, adding: “The pandemic has accelerated an already growing trend of employees with children needing more flexibility and convenience when it comes to childcare.
“We’re working more flexibly, we’re working ad-hoc hours and we’re working differently all round. We also face ongoing uncertainty in terms of when our kids will be in schools and nursery settings, with hundreds of thousands of school children being sent home from school since they re-opened in September.
“For some parents this may mean they need more hours from a childcare provider, some may need less and for many – this may change week to week.
“For employers, the business case is clear. Supporting parents in their workforce will improve their mental health, their productivity and their all-round commitment to their business. It will help foster diversity and gender equality too – something under further attack since the onset of the pandemic.”