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News and Insight

New survey finds parents need more employer support during pandemic

A new survey conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic shows that working parents require a greater level of support than businesses are currently offering. Taking a people-centric approach is the way to thrive.

Carried out by employer-led childcare funding solution Catapillr, the ‘Working Parent Survey’ report outlines the financial impact of the global crisis and highlights a notable gap between how businesses are supporting working parents, and what these parents need during this challenging time.

The survey provides fascinating insight into the lives of working parents during the pandemic, taking a closer look into the pressures facing families as they struggle to balance work with everyday household responsibilities. A common trend reflected across the entirety of the study is that the COVID-19 outbreak has made this balancing act much more difficult, particularly with school closures forcing many working parents to moonlight as homeschool teachers while still delivering the same level of productivity at work.

According to the study, 63% of working parents report that they are finding it much more challenging to raise their children from a financial perspective as a direct result of the pandemic. Facing unprecedented uncertainties, a number of businesses across a wide number of industries have introduced salary reductions during this period, despite many working parents facing additional outgoings. While the working from home trend may have eradicated commuting costs, parents are also facing additional costs, such as school supplies and technologies to support at-home distance learning.

Laura Robinson, head of research and Insight at Catapillr said, “As a parent and a teacher who is battling through remote teaching while also trying to support my husband who’s homeschooling our three children - I feel this survey really highlights the issues that us working parents are facing. Certainly, it is clear that a greater level of employer support is needed now more than ever.

“The organisations that are thriving at this time are those that are taking a people-centric approach, listening to what their valuable human resources need at this time, and implementing positive change for the workforce.”

The Catapillr study suggests that businesses are key to minimising the financial impact of the pandemic, with more than three quarters stating that they feel their employer could be doing more to support them with childcare costs during this difficult time. Some 86% suggested that a new initiative to help with childcare costs would be beneficial to them, while 80% of that group demonstrated a preference for a benefit similar to an interest-free season ticket loan. Many would take support in whatever way possible, with 44% claiming that their current employer does not offer any sort of benefits package for employees.

While the effects of the pandemic are expected to be temporary, the need for ongoing childcare support isn’t. According to the study, 86% of working parents say that they are much more likely to encourage their children to attend paid sporting or activity clubs or utilise school holiday clubs once restrictions are eased in a bid to ensure their children’s social and physical development remains on track following months and months of disruption. The Catapillr scheme supports a range of clubs and school holiday camps.

The ‘Working Parent Survey’ was undertaken during November and December 2020. In total 497 working parents participated in the survey, of which 250 respondents were via the Pollfish survey platform.

Catapillr is a modern, socially responsible, digitally-based technology company founded in February 2019 by Laura & Phil Robinson. It has developed a childcare cash advance scheme that addresses the concerns of working parents at this time. The scheme has been designed and developed especially with busy working parents in mind, helping to manage the upfront costs of childcare and children’s activities through an interest-free, 12-month repayable loan. To find out more about the Catapillr scheme, visit https://catapillr.com or find the survey results online: https://catapillr.com/2021/01/04/working-parent-survey-2020/

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