Election 2020 survey: How child care is affecting how parents plan to vote

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How child care is affecting how parents plan to vote in 2020

It’s a presidential election year, and we’re in the middle of a global pandemic, which has significantly exacerbated an ongoing child care crisis in the U.S. for parents with young children and forged brand new woes for parents of K-12 students. That means U.S. families are dealing with rising child care costs and an overwhelming amount of stress as the election approaches. According to new data from the Care.com Fall 2020 Child Care Survey, while parents are trying to manage growing costs and juggle health, family and work, they’re taking their worries to the polls.

How parents plan to use their votes in 2020

Survey data tells us the majority (82%) of parents are registered to vote and definitely plan to vote in the 2020 election. Another 11% are registered to vote but say they may not do so. The survey findings also make it clear that parents are paying attention to child care policy across party lines this election season and support a variety of child care proposals. 

Of the 93% of respondents who are registered to vote, here’s what they had to say about how they will be voting. 

1. Policy around child care will factor into voting choices for parents:

  • 89% say child care policy is important in influencing how they will vote, up from 85% before COVID-19. 

  • 40% say it is very important, up from 34% before COVID-19. 

2. Most parents have researched the candidates’ positions around child care:

  • 77% have paid attention to child care issues in the election.

  • 44% of voters have researched these issues, with 19% saying this is significant research.

3. The majority support several key child care policies in 2020:

Why child care is more critical than ever in 2020

If there’s any question why 89% of parents say child care policy is important in influencing how they will vote, this survey data highlights some of the very specific worries parents in the U.S. are having right now.

1. Child care costs even more:

  • 44% of parents say they are experiencing higher child care costs since the pandemic began.  This validates fears they expressed about rising costs in a June survey when 47% said they were concerned about increased costs

Of the 44% experiencing higher costs, here’s how parents attribute the higher costs:

  • 53% say additional safety procedures have made costs climb at day care facilities..

  • 41% say the switch from day care to in-home care to minimize exposure is more expensive

  • 39% say the need for tutoring to help with remote learning is an added expense. 

Of that same 44%, the majority (96%) say they have had to take some course of action to cover increased costs: 

  • 64% say they have reduced expenses. 

  • 53% say they have dipped into savings. 

  • 49% have taken on additional work.

  • 24% have borrowed funds. 

2. The quality of education is at stake

With schools across the country operating either remotely or on a hybrid schedule, parents have strong concerns about education quality which has prompted investment in additional learning help:

  • 69% have invested in additional help to support online learning. 

    • This increases to 77% for parents whose youngest child is 10 to 14 years old. 

  • Of the 29% who have not considered hiring extra learning help, most (19%) say they have not considered it due to cost concerns.  

3. Employers don’t offer the benefits that help support families 

According to the survey, employers’ commitment to child care support remains weak despite access to affordable care being a necessity for the workforce

  • 61% say their employer has not offered child care assistance during the COVID-19 crisis. This increases to 70% for mothers. 

  • 57% say their employer’s commitment to child care benefits is lower than it should be. 

  • 90% agree that, “Access to quality affordable child care is essential for me and/or my partner to go to work.” 

Fall Child Care Survey methodology

The Fall 2020 Child Care Survey captured 2,000 responses. This sample of 2,000 US adults (18 years or older) who are all parents using paid child care were surveyed between September 23, 2020, and September 24, 2020. The margin of error ±2.2% and no additional weighting was done to the initial sample. DKC Analytics conducted and analyzed this survey with a sample procured using the Pollfish delivery platform, which delivers online surveys globally through mobile apps and the mobile web along with the desktop web.

About Care.com

Available in more than 20 countries, Care.com is the world’s leading platform for finding and managing high-quality family care. Care.com is designed to meet the evolving needs of today’s families and caregivers, offering everything from household tax and payroll services and customized corporate benefits packages covering the care needs of working families, to innovating new ways for caregivers to be paid and obtain professional benefits. Since 2007, families have relied on Care.com’s industry-leading products — from child and senior care to pet care and home care. Care.com is an IAC company (NASDAQ: IAC).

Previous Care.com surveys

The Care.com 2020 COVID-19 Working Parents Survey

The Care.com 2020 Back-to-School Survey

The Care.com COVID-19 Child Care Survey

The Care.com 2020 Work + Life Report

The Care.com Cost of Child Care Survey: 2020 Report

The Care.com Cost of Child Care Survey: 2019 Report