Parents Under Stress €“ Evaluating Emergency Childcare Policies During the First Covid-19 Lockdown in Germany

39 Pages Posted: 22 May 2021 Last revised: 23 Jul 2022

See all articles by Simone Schüller

Simone Schüller

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); FBK-IRVAPP

Hannah Steinberg

University of Georgia, Students

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 well-being 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.

Keywords: AID:A, school and daycare closures, policy evaluation, COVID-19, harsh parenting, parental well-being, difference-in-difference-in-differences, instrumental variable estimation

JEL Classification: D04, D13, I18, I31, J13

Suggested Citation

Schüller, Simone and Steinberg, Hannah, Parents Under Stress €“ Evaluating Emergency Childcare Policies During the First Covid-19 Lockdown in Germany. IZA Discussion Paper No. 14359, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3851032

Simone Schüller (Contact Author)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, 01069
Germany

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

FBK-IRVAPP ( email )

via Santa Croce 77
Trento, 38122
Italy

Hannah Steinberg

University of Georgia, Students ( email )

Atlanata
GA
United States

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