New Poll Shows Working Parents Across Florida Impacted by Child Care Issues During Pandemic

A new survey finds that offering benefits for working parents across the Sunshine State could help businesses become more competitive when it comes to hiring and retaining employees.

Last week, the Children’s Movement of Florida and Sachs Media unveiled the “​2020 Working Parent Survey.” The poll found child care was critical to retain employees, especially during the pandemic. More than two-fifths of those surveyed–43 percent–said they left jobs because of child care issues and that included a majority–54 percent–of working mothers. The surveyed found child care issues impacted part-time employees more than full-time ones and also impacted lower-income and Black and Hispanic working famines.

Asked what are the most valuable benefits employers can offer, paid time off was the most popular answer, followed by paid family leave, flexibility and health insurance. Asked what benefits inspire loyalty to companies, health insurance was the top answer followed by paid time off, flexibility and then paid family leave. Asked what benefits promote productivity, the top answer was flexibility followed by paid time off, backup child care assistance and then on-site child care.

The current pandemic has impacted working families on their jobs. Before the pandemic, 44 percent of respondents said child care had caused at least one productivity-related issue at work but that has jumped to 65 percent over the past six months.

Leaders from across the state weighed in on the poll’s findings.

“Now more than ever, as Florida’s businesses face down the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative that we look to ways we can support our employees. The Florida Chamber Foundation’s Business Alliance for Early Learning champions recognize the importance of parent and family support in today’s workplaces. What we invest in our employees, they will amplify and return in productivity and loyalty,” said Mark Wilson, the president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

“As COVID has plainly shown, it’s impossible to separate workers from the needs of their families,” said Sachs Media President Michelle Ubben. “Smart companies will adopt family friendly policies that accommodate those needs and reap the benefits in productivity, employee loyalty and greater diversity.”

“We launched our Bosses for Babies initiative last year knowing that employers have a role to play in getting all children off to a strong start in Florida. Now we know that family-friendly policies and practices not only help parents be their best, but also help Florida businesses attract and retain a strong, diverse workforce,” said Madeleine Thakur, the president of the Children’s Movement of Florida.

The poll of 900 employed Florida parents of children under the age of 9 was taken from December 1-20, 2020 and had a margin of error of +/-3.5 percent.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

 

KEVIN DERBY
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