Latino parents say they have struggled with child care responsibilities during the coronavirus pandemic as schools closed and pushed instruction online, child care facilities shut their doors and fears of the coronavirus kept many Americans home. The survey also finds that most Latino parents are worried their kids have fallen behind in school.
Hispanic parents and child care during the pandemic
A majority of Hispanic parents with children younger than 12 in the home say that child care responsibilities have been difficult during the coronavirus pandemic. While 41% of Hispanic parents say handling child care responsibilities has been “somewhat difficult,” about one-in-four (24%) say it has been “very difficult.” Meanwhile, 20% say handling child care has been somewhat easy and 15% say it has been very easy during the pandemic.
Among Hispanic parents with young kids, mothers (30%) are more likely than fathers (16%) to say handling child care responsibilities has been very difficult, though similar shares express having difficulties with child care overall (66% and 62% respectively).
Meanwhile, among working Latino parents with children younger than 12 in their homes, those who have worked outside their home during the pandemic are more likely than those who have worked from home to say handling child care responsibilities has been difficult – 71% compared with 55%.
In an earlier Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults, about half (52%) of working parents with children younger than 12 said it has been very or somewhat difficult to handle child care responsibilities during the coronavirus outbreak.
A majority of Hispanic parents of K-12 students say their kids received at least some online instruction during the school year
More than half (58%) of Hispanic parents with one or more school-age children living in their home say their children’s instruction has been online only during the 2020-21 school year, compared with 24% who say their children had a mix of in-person and online instruction and 11% who say their children received in-person instruction only.
Among Hispanic parents of school-age children, immigrants were more likely than the U.S. born to say their children’s instruction has happened only online (64% vs. 52%). By comparison, U.S.-born parents were more likely than immigrant parents to say that their children have had a mix of in-person and online instruction (32% vs. 18%).
In addition, Latino parents with at least some college education (48%) are less likely to say their children have received only online instruction during the school year than parents with a high school degree but no college experience (66%) or parents who have not finished high school (63%).
Most Hispanic parents worry their children have fallen behind in school as a result of the coronavirus pandemic
A majority of Hispanic parents of K-12 students are concerned their children have fallen behind in school as a result of disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Among Hispanic parents with at least one school-age child in their home, 42% say they are very concerned and 33% say they are somewhat concerned that their children have fallen behind in school during the pandemic. Meanwhile, 14% say they are not too concerned that their children have fallen behind in school and only 10% say they are not concerned at all.
Early reports suggest that some Latino students have struggled academically during the pandemic. This includes a drop in reading and math scores in national tests compared with years prior to the pandemic.
Concerns about academic progress are similar across most Latino demographic subgroups. For example, parents of children who had online instruction or a mix of in-person and online instruction hold mostly similar views, according to the survey. However, worry about their children’s academic progress varies by the nativity of the parents. Latino immigrant parents of K-12 students are more likely than U.S.-born parents to say they are very concerned that their children have fallen behind in school during the pandemic (46% vs. 34%).