In a research study conducted by Wakefield Research among 500 U.S. working professional parents of children ages five and under, employed full time at companies of 500+ employees with employer-sponsored benefits, between May 26th and June 2nd, 2021, parents feel a lack of support and resources and are struggling while navigating the pandemic, working and parenting.
According to Vivvi’s State of Working Parents Survey, 80% of U.S. working parents were offered flexible work policies in the past six months, but those policies resulted in more problems than solutions. Nearly 40% of parents reported that increased flexibility meant working more hours. In the last month alone, more than half of the working parents surveyed had to work outside normal hours an average of seven times to make up for time missed caring for their children.
“More than a year since the start of the pandemic, working parents are still struggling with child care and wondering why their employers haven’t heard them,” said Charles Bonello, co-founder and CEO of Vivvi. “As the country reopens and conversations about returning to the office heat up, it’s important employers don’t overlook the need to support working parents. The stakes could not be higher. If more companies do not provide their caregiving employees with the flexible support that they need, we’ll see even more parents forced to leave their current jobs, or the workforce altogether.”
Key findings from the survey include:
- Working parents are looking for support. Child care struggles related to the pandemic have put a renewed emphasis on what was already weighing heavily on parents. An overwhelming 82% of working parents say spending more time at home with their children over the past year has made employer-provided child care benefits even more important to them. But with 66% of working parents experiencing burnout, it’s clear most of the current employer benefits are falling short.
- Labor gaps. Employers’ failure to help their working parents could have huge implications for their workforce. More than two in three working parents (68%) say child care struggles force them to take on fewer responsibilities at work. More than 40% considered looking for a new job or leaving the workforce altogether.
- Working Moms feel over-extended in childcare responsibilities. Women often bear the brunt of child care, yet working women don’t feel like their employers are reaching out to them. Not only are women downplaying their child care struggles to colleagues (66% believe speaking up about child care issues can make them seem like a problem employee), nearly two in five say they or other working parents at their company weren’t involved at all in determining the company’s benefits.
- A more flexible definition of flexibility. An overwhelming majority — 94% of working parents — would benefit from flexible working arrangements, but it is clear that the flexibility and support already offered is not enough. In fact, three out of four parents who have reported having some kind of child care benefits said they don’t meet their current needs.
About Vivvi Vivvi provides exceptional child care and early education for children of all ages. With programs across the country including on-campus, in-home, in-office and virtual tutoring, Vivvi partners with employers of all sizes to make child care more accessible and affordable. By helping companies cater to working parents and providing a comprehensive vision for today’s families, Vivvi offers the most powerful tool for recruiting, retention and productivity. For more information, go to www.vivvi.com.
About Wakefield Wakefield Research is a market research consultancy specializing in strategic and tactical research for corporations and organizations throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Our staff has the classical training of career researchers, but they have also worked in public relations firms, marketing and ad agencies, news organizations, political communications companies, and non-profit organizations. This uniquely valuable background informs the marketing and positioning of some of the most prominent brands in the marketplace.