Parents worry about losing their jobs when they stay home to care for sick kids

When children get sick, it can be challenging for parents to care for their sick children while managing their normal schedules. This can be especially difficult for families who depend on child care so parents can work outside the home. Many child care programs have policies that exclude children from attending when they’re sick, forcing parents to find back-up care or stay home.

We asked parents who have young children 0-5 years old that attend child care how they manage when their kids get sick and how it has impacted their work. Read the full report: Sick kids, struggling parents.

When kids get sick: Concerns among parents with kids in child care
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One-half of parents said finding alternative or back-up child care is difficult and one-third said they worry about losing their job or losing pay when they stay home to care for their sick children. Nearly one- third of parents also reported that they don’t have enough paid sick leave.

Caring for a sick child is stressful for any parent, but in this NPCH Report, parents who work outside the home expressed unique concerns about how child illness impacts their lives. With worries about a lack of paid sick leave and a possibility about losing pay or losing their jobs as a result of staying home with a sick child, it’s apparent that working parents face many professional obstacles when their children are too sick to attend child care.

Video: Dr. Matt Davis & Dr. Andrew Hashikawa discuss the impact of a child’s illness on working parents