Being a parent during a pandemic: a StatCan survey to measure the impact of COVID-19

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TORONTO –
The global pandemic has brought a whole series of new challenges to an already difficult vocation: parenthood. To try to understand the ripple effect that COVID-19 has had on families in recent months, Statistics Canada is asking parents to complete a new survey.

The online survey, launched yesterday, specifically seeks parents of children aged 14 and under to answer questions related to childcare, education, children’s activities, parents’ professional situation and to their concerns for the future.

Many households have been affected by the pandemic and the resulting foreclosure measures, including the closure of schools and many workplaces. Some parents have had to work at home with small children constantly underfoot, while others have seen adolescents locked up all day while facing the stress of being recently laid off.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the lives and habits of all Canadians, but data on the impact on children and their families are limited,” said the introduction to the survey. “This survey will provide information on how the pandemic is affecting families with children under the age of 15, and how they are adapting to the challenges of this new reality. ”

The survey, which takes approximately five minutes, begins by asking the age and number of people in the respondent’s household.

The questions range from asking parents what worries them most about their children during this time – their physical or mental health, academic delay, loneliness and lack of social interaction, time spent in front of a screen and safety in school. line, etc. – ask parents about their concerns for their own performance as parents. A question asks parents if they are worried about getting upset and making fun of their children and if they are worried about finding a balance between childcare, education and work.

The survey asks whether stressed parents work from home, have someone in the household who worked outside during the pandemic, or was laid off due to the pandemic.

Demographic questions are also asked to get a better idea of ​​the parents and family units most affected by the pandemic.

The investigation will continue until June 22 and the results will be released in early July.

Government organizations, including the Public Health Agency of Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada, will be able to use the survey to “assess the delivery of health and social services and economic support, and to ensure that best practices are adopted when reopening workplaces and public spaces, ”According to StatCan.

The information provided for this survey may also be used for other future StatCan research, they add.

This is the most recent survey in a series that StatCan has conducted since the start of the pandemic to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on various sectors and on the lives of Canadians. The next questionnaire, expected to be launched in late June, will focus on how Canadians with disabilities are coping with the pandemic.

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