Polls: Parents Are Hurting Without Child Care But In No Rush To Reopen Schools

/LA Johnson/NPR

For American families with children, the pandemic has meant lost income, increased child care responsibilities, worry and stress. But a majority are not eager for schools to reopen this fall, given the health risk. That's according to two new national polls of parents by the Kaiser Family Foundation and ParentsTogether, an advocacy group.

The Kaiser Family Foundation poll, released Thursday, focused on school reopening. It polled a diverse sample of 377 parents.

The ParentsTogether poll surveyed more than 1,200 parents about reopening schools and child care needs and found similar results.

In addition to asking about going back to school, ParentsTogether asked about child care and lost income; 63% of parents said they lost income during the crisis and more than 40% of all parents also said they lost income specifically due to new child care responsibilities when schools and day cares closed.

Yet despite the personal economic pressure and mixed scientific evidence concerning how likely young children are to actually get seriously ill or spread the coronavirus, it seems concerns about safety and health are the top priority for parents when it comes to school reopening.

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