Child and Parental Wellbeing during the Covid-Pandemic
Embargo end date31/03/2022
The Covid-pandemic and the public health measures aimed at containing the virus, such as lockdowns, physical distancing and self-isolating, radically changed family life and daily routines. The pandemic has had particularly dramatic effects on households with dependent children due to the closure of schools and childcare settings. In this working paper we discuss how ‘one year of Covid’, from spring 2020 to spring 2021, affected the wellbeing of families with children aged 0-15. The findings presented here draw on analysis we conducted using data from two representative, longitudinal British surveys – the Understanding Society and the Next Steps Cohort study – examining how indicators of behavioural and mental health of children and their parents changed during the pandemic. Secondly, we present rich new data from 50 qualitative in-depth interviews we conducted with parents living with dependent children in Scotland that elucidate changes to daily family life in more detail and the pandemic experiences and challenges children and their parents faced. This working paper forms part of a series of resources published from the UKRI rapid response project ‘Childcare and Wellbeing in Times of Covid-19’. The full research report, other thematic briefing and working papers, blogs and presentations are available on the Childcare and Wellbeing website www.childcare-covid.org.