In the 3rd Co-SPYCE report, researchers found that young children of working parents experienced a ‘small but significant’ improvement in their behaviour and attention during lockdown. Around 15% of the parents/carers in the sample reported that they were unemployed, and this group did not report a reduction in their child’s behaviour or attention problems.
Prof Helen Dodd was quoted here: ‘We hear a lot about the potential negative impact the lockdown may have had on young children while they could not go to school or nursery, but this study shows that, at least in some respects, things may not have been as bad as expected.
‘One possible explanation is that children benefited from having more time at home with their parents and carers. Even when it doesn’t feel like ‘quality time’ to the parents, it may benefit their children.’
‘An alternative explanation is that many of the daily pressures put on young children to conform to adult-led schedules were removed during lockdown, leading to fewer perceived behavioural and attention problems.
‘Any parent who has tried to get a young child into their shoes and out of the door on time in the morning will know this is a challenging point in the day!’