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Parent Survey: For Many Families, the Economic Crisis is Already Here

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ParentsTogether has refocused our team on supporting parents through the Coronavirus crisis. On March 18, we surveyed a random sample of our two-million-family community to find out how families are coping with the pandemic. 1,488 parents with children under 18 responded to our survey by Facebook Messenger. Here’s what they told us.

Toplines: Families Are Close to the Edge

Families are already struggling as a result of the rapidly spreading economic fallout from the measures implemented to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus:

  • Two thirds of families are struggling as a result of the coronavirus outbreak and have either lost income already or expect to soon. 
  • 80% of respondents are worried about having enough money to cover basic housing and food costs within three months. 46% are worried about running out of money within the next two weeks.
  • 22% of respondents say that their job/workplace is no longer open or operating and 15% have been laid off or lost hours.
  • Parents are following social distancing recommendations. But it’s costing them. 52% say their family will lose money/income so one parent or family member can stay home with kids.

“Our survey shows that the economic crisis is a tsunami bearing down on American families. Millions are already in danger of going under. Families need a lifeline—emergency  action from our federal and state governments that is both big, at the scale of the crisis, and lasting, because it won’t be over quickly,” said Justin Ruben, co-director of ParentsTogether.

To help parents in the short term, the organization has launched Coronavirus Parents, a Facebook group where parents are sharing resources, ideas, small victories and strategies for getting through the crisis.

Full Results

Do you feel like your family is struggling as a result of this crisis?

Do you feel like your family is struggling as a result of this crisis?


What concerns do you have in this moment? (select all that apply)

What concerns do you have in this moment? (select all that apply)


Have you lost income or do you expect to soon?

Have you lost income or do you expect to soon?


Many of us are concerned about having enough money for food or housing. If things don’t improve, are you worried about covering basic costs?

If things don't improve, are you worried about covering basic costs?


Which of the following best describes the reason for your lost income? (check all that apply)

Which of the following best describes the reason for your lost income?


Have school or daycare closures impacted kids (or grandkids) whose care you’re responsible for?

Have school or daycare closures impacted kids (or grandkids) whose care you’re responsible for?


If you have children under 12, what is your primary form of alternate childcare for kids not in school/daycare?

If you have children under 12, what is your primary form of alternate childcare for kids not in school/daycare?


Will your family lose money/income by having a parent or family member stay home with the kids during the crisis?

Will your family lose money/income by having a parent or family member stay home with the kids during the crisis?


Are any of the people taking care of your child over 65?

Are any of the people taking care of your child over 65?


Are your kids still spending time with other kids that aren’t part of your immediate family? (Of families with kids not in school)

Are your kids still spending time with other kids that aren’t part of your immediate family? (Of families with kids not in school)

Greater Impact Among the Most Vulnerable

Do you feel like your family is struggling as a result of this crisis? (By household income)

Do you feel like your family is struggling as a result of this crisis?


Have you lost income or do you expect to soon? (By household income)

Have you lost income or do you expect to soon?


Many of us are concerned about having enough money for food or housing. If things don’t improve, are you worried about covering basic costs? (By household income)

If things don't improve, are you worried about covering basic costs?


Are you worried about being able to feed your kids without school meals to count on? (Only parents whose children are out of school, and who receive free or reduced-price school lunch)

Are you worried about being able to feed your kids without school meals to count on? (Only parents whose children are out of school, and who receive free or reduced-price school lunch)


Have you been informed by your school district or another resource of a way you can continue to get free or reduced price meals for your kid(s)? (Only parents whose children are out of school, and who receive free or reduced-price school lunch)

Have you been informed by your school district or another resource of a way you can continue to get free or reduced price meals for your kid(s)? (Only parents whose children are out of school, and who receive free or reduced-price school lunch)

Family Voices

“My fiancé got laid off from his job and I’m a stay at home mom. He’s trying his hardest to find work, but so many places are filling up because of only take out and drive-thru. I’m scared that after all this blows over, we’ll be homeless. I can’t bear the thought of my five month old being homeless with us.” 

Alexi, North Carolina

“I’m a part time worker in a school. District closed down for two weeks and not sure what will happen if current health situation gets worse. I’m a single mother and have little support in area. I rent a home and have bills that will need to be paid regardless of virus or work being closed.”

Courtney, South Carolina

“Hello, my name is Andrea and I was a housekeeper. Since my babies have been out of school I have not been able to work, and since all of my business at the time was self employment, I am unable to receive any type of unemployment. We also had just moved to the city where my main places were, so I was depending on my next couple of checks to get a stove and refrigerator, but now I am honestly unable too.”

Andrea, Georgia

“I work fast food and right now we are only doing take out. This only changed this week. There is a decrease in customers of course because of that. We have already been told as of next week they will cut hours. That I understand but what happens at the end of that week. Thats going to be week two which means less money. Then I don’t even know what the 1st of next month holds.”

Rita, Hawaii

“We only have enough groceries to last two weeks. When our Gov. Extended school closed till end of April, it hit me that we may need to ration. Money is going to be used to pay rent, and other bills”

Deb, Oregon

“The governor of my state had to shut down all of my industry (beauty). I am self-employed and had to close and am not eligible to receive unemployment benefits. If I am closed too long, I will not have enough money to even cover my rent for my shop.”

Hannah, Minnesota

“I have to take care of my children. Now we lost out on my income for our family.”

Chelcie, New York

Who Took the Survey?


Do you have a child, or are you a caregiver, for children under 18?

Do you have a child, or are you a caregiver, for children under 18?


Which race/ethnicity best describes you? (Please choose only one)

Which race/ethnicity best describes you? (Please choose only one)


Before this crisis hit, how would you have rated your financial situation?

Before this crisis hit, how would you have rated your financial situation?

 


Dealing with school closures, childcare issues, or other challenges related to coronavirus? Find support, advice, activities to keep kids entertained, learning opportunities and more in our Coronavirus Parents: Parenting in a Pandemic Facebook Group.

For ongoing updates on coronavirus-related issues and questions that impact children and families, please find additional resources here.