The COVID emergency declaration is in the rearview mirror, but U.S. moms are still feeling the pandemic’s effects on the childcare industry in their day-to-day lives. Lack of care resources due to closures and demand left many parents leaving the workforce to care for young children towards the beginning of the pandemic. Last month, a new executive order was signed by the Biden administration aiming to expand access to affordable childcare for U.S. families. But for the time being, CivicScience data show the ripple effects of the childcare crisis persist.

New data show that of moms who left the workforce to care for their young children during the pandemic, 28% of respondents remain out of work, still serving as full-time care providers. What’s more is although another fourth did find childcare, for one reason or another they report still not working. Even more staggering, many moms are back in the workforce but only have part-time care or don’t have any childcare at all. 

Remote Work May Be the Only Way To Get By

Current CivicScience data show that people who report they are currently working remotely all of the time over-index as women (55% vs 45% men). The added responsibility of childcare may be the biggest factor, and as recent Pew data shows, women still take on a bigger share of childcare and other household duties even if they earn as much as their male partners. 

Further CivicScience data show that of a sample of moms with childcare-age children currently working remotely, more than half say they don’t have any childcare at all (62%). Stress and strain of this situation aside, this shows the importance of the remote option for many working parents.

When asked about preference for work environment (vs. current situation), the same correlation is shown: those who would prefer to have remote flexibility are less likely to have full-time childcare, and more likely to have no childcare at all. It should also be highlighted that of those who would prefer full-time remote work, a higher percentage do have full-time care than those who are already working at home full-time, further highlighting that the benefit of this flexibility likely supports moms in general, regardless of childcare status. 

Full-Time Childcare Correlates With Higher Job Happiness

Perhaps even more eye-opening (though certainly not surprising) is this: anything less than full-time childcare takes a toll on working mothers’ reported job happiness. Data show working moms of childcare-age children with part-time or no childcare report lower job satisfaction. You really can’t do it all.

Other data in the study show that women over-index men in saying their career has been impacted by childcare issues over the past three years (36% vs 28%) and when looking at even just the past year, moms are still disproportionally affected compared to dads in saying childcare issues have impacted their jobs (31% vs 25%).   

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