Parents are at a breaking point. After three months at home with their children balancing work, home school and all caregiving responsibilities the stress of parenting is in full view. During this unpredictable and unprecedented time parents need to provide stability and sanity in their children’s lives. Parents provide the stable, nurturing relationship to weather any storm. They are expected to protect them from a tornado inside a hurricane– keep children safe and not exposed to the virus, manage their children’s increasing anxiety, put food on the table, and regulate rules for screen time and bedtime. But parents themselves are stressed and anxious and must find ways to soothe their own minds to effectively help their children.
This is why Voices for Virginia’s Children, along with Families Forward Virginia and the Virginia PTAs conducted a survey the week of May 12th to parents around the Commonwealth. A representative sample of 880 parents completed the survey. Half of those who completed it left extensive comments about the pain points they were experiencing accessing child care, balancing their work load and keeping their families healthy and safe. The attached report summarizes the findings of the survey and includes policy recommendations.
The old adage is it takes a village. Parenting is not and cannot be done in isolation. You as policymakers and state leaders can provide information, resources, and guidance so parents can make the best decisions for their children. . Using funds from the CARES Act recovery, requiring additional paid leave and dialoging with parents, we offer the following insights on improving conditions for parents and children in the Commonwealth.
To follow up on specific policy recommendations from this report please contact Emily Griffey, Policy Director, Voices for Virginia’s Children. To reach additional audiences of parents connected to schools contact Jenna Alexander with Virginia PTA and to reach parents of young children and to reach families connected to home visiting and parent supports connect to Lisa Specter-Dunaway with Families Forward Virginia. Elevating the voices of Virginia’s parents and children will create better policies. We appreciate your attention