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

NPR, July 23, 2020

Anya Kamenetz

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.

  • 63% of parents said it is better to open schools later to minimize coronavirus infection risk. 
  • About half as many parents, 32%, said it’s better to open schools sooner so parents can work and kids can get services, even if there’s some risk of infection. 
  • Parents of color were more hesitant than white parents to reopen schools. At the same time, they were also more worried about negative impacts on their kids from schools remaining closed, including falling behind academically and losing access to needed services.

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