In the Voices of Parents: Mothers Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a life-changing impact on many families. The Illinois Action for Children (IAFC) Research team, in partnership with the IAFC Referral and Outreach team, followed parents as they navigated financial hardships, lack of child care, and other resources, and their overall well-being throughout the pandemic.

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Part 1:

The child care referral teams who help parents find child care wanted a systematic way to collect and communicate some of the stories they had been hearing regarding the effect of the pandemic on families and their child care. The team developed a survey questionnaire and called Cook County parents who had used their referral services over the past year. Calls were made in June and July 2020, collecting 144 surveys.

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Part 2:

For this report, the IAFC referrals and outreach team conducted more in-depth interviews with a subset of the parents – 26 mothers – to learn how they were faring four to five months later, in November 2020.

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Part 3:

Part III of the series captures the experiences and perspectives of this same subset of mothers in the spring of 2021, a full year into the pandemic.

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