For working dad and mom, childcare was related to excessive prices throughout Covid
All working parents were put to the test in 2020.
Dealing with professional responsibilities, along with distance learning and other household chores, has left some at least temporarily behind while others remain sidelined.
“At first I thought he could work with me, but it turned out to be really difficult,” said Sara Abate Rezvanifar, 39, of her 6-year-old son’s online training.
Last year, Sara Abate Rezvanifar, 39, cut back on her job responsibilities to help her son with a remote kindergarten.
Source: Sara Abate Rezvanifar
The care of her kindergarten teacher took up most of the time during normal working hours. “I had to postpone my day until later in the afternoon, but that meant I couldn’t attend many meetings,” she said.
“In the second half of the year, I started pulling out and saying ‘no’ to many projects and handing them over to a team member,” added the communications director.
Even now, Abate Rezvanifar, who lives outside of Toronto, said she wasn’t sure what will happen in the fall. Her husband has already returned to the office three days a week, but with the rise in Covid cases, it is less certain that her son will go back to the classroom.
Sara Abate Rezvanifar and her family.
Source: Sara Abate Rezvanifar
Almost two-thirds, right? 62% of adults with children said their additional responsibilities for childcare and virtual schooling during the pandemic affected their ability to get ahead at work, according to a recent report by the American Staffing Association. The association surveyed over 2,000 U.S. adults in June.
“Parents feel left behind in their careers and at work,” said Richard Wahlquist, president and CEO of the association.
“Some came back, others stayed on the sidelines because they couldn’t come back. As a society, this is another of the big challenges.”
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Childcare was a problem long before the pandemic. In fact, the US lags far behind many other countries in terms of accessibility and affordability. Canada does moderately better. However, Covid made it even more difficult when sudden restrictions dramatically restricted access to schools and daycare centers.
Although childcare challenges fall on both parents, mothers are more likely to manage distance learning and do the extra housework and other chores at home.
During Covid, women spent 20 hours a week on care and housework, as McKinsey & Co. and LeanIn.org found in their report “Women at Work 2020”.
As a result, 54% of working mothers said they felt they couldn’t give 100% at work, compared with 43% of working fathers, according to the Pew Research Center.
Mothers are also more likely than fathers to report reducing their working hours or taking leave of absence from work. And they were more likely to say that they were being treated as if they were not advocating their careers, were being passed over for a promotion, or had to turn down one based on current circumstances.
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People of color were similarly more likely to say that childcare responsibilities were a career obstacle during Covid, the American Staffing Association report found.
Seven out of 10 black parents and 62% of Hispanic parents said their chances of advancement were negatively impacted by their childcare and distance learning responsibilities, compared with 51% of white parents.
“The effects of Covid that we’ve seen have disproportionately affected the population who need the most help,” Wahlquist said. “It’s the same old story.”
When one parent leaves working life, they lose more than just their salary. After considering potential wage growth and retirement savings lost over time, that parent is giving up four times their annual income every year, according to the Center for American Progress.
To address some of these economic and social challenges, the American rescue plan passed in March included $ 39 billion specifically for childcare.