Parents Under Stress - Evaluating Emergency Childcare Policies During the First COVID-19 Lockdown in Germany

39 Pages Posted: 18 May 2021

See all articles by Simone Schüller

Simone Schüller

German Youth Institute DJI

Hannah Steinberg

University of Georgia, Students

Date Written: 2021

Abstract

What are the effects of school and daycare facility closures during the COVID-19 pandemic on parental well-being and parenting behavior? Can emergency childcare policies during a pandemic mitigate increases in parental stress and negative parenting behavior? To answer these questions, this study leverages cross-state variation in emergency childcare eligibility rules during the first COVID-19 lockdown in Germany and draws on unique data from the 2019 and 2020 waves of the German AID:A family panel. Employing a DDD and IV approach we identify medium-term ITT and LATE effects and find that while emergency care policies did not considerably affect parents’ life satisfaction, partnership satisfaction or mental health, they have been effective in diminishing harsh parenting behavior. We find partly gendered effects, specifically on paternal parenting behavior. Our results suggest that decreasing parental wellbeing likely constitutes a general effect of the pandemic, whereas the observed increase in negative and potentially harmful parenting behavior is largely directly caused by school and daycare facility closures.

JEL Classification: D040, D130, I180, I310, J130

Suggested Citation

Schüller, Simone and Steinberg, Hannah, Parents Under Stress - Evaluating Emergency Childcare Policies During the First COVID-19 Lockdown in Germany (2021). CESifo Working Paper No. 9077, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3848339 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3848339

Simone Schüller (Contact Author)

German Youth Institute DJI ( email )

Nockherstrasse 2 2
Munich, 81541
Germany

Hannah Steinberg

University of Georgia, Students ( email )

Atlanata
GA
United States

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