Juggling Work and Childcare During COVID-19

How EU Member States Supported Working Families in 2020

Published in: European Commission, Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion (2021). doi: 10.2767/557994

Posted on RAND.org on January 11, 2022

by Natalie Picken, Katrin Feyerabend, Linda Kunertova, Silvia Galimberti, Elena Rosa Brown, Lillian Flemons, Emily Ryen Gloinson, Giulia Lanfredi, Konstantina Rentzou

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This report outlines existing evidence about the experiences of working parents and families in Europe during the COVID-19 outbreaks in 2020 and reviews the policies set out by 10 selected EU Member States (MSs) in response to these challenges.

Since its outbreak in Europe at the start of 2020, COVID-19 has significantly affected the lives of all EU citizens, including children and their families. With widespread closure of early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings and schools, working parents faced particular social and economic consequences through the need to balance work with increased childcare.

This report by the European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC) aims to explore policies introduced by 10 MSs that aimed to support working parents in light of COVID-19 in 2020. The report explores policies and practices that were established or adapted in order to support families with working parents during COVID-19 and takes stock of their common features and impact.

The 10 EU MSs reviewed in more detail in this report are Austria, Cyprus, Czechia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Slovakia and Sweden.

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