Charlie Rosier, founder of online nursery Babbu, explains why we need to be helping working fathers more than we are currently.
Parents need more help in the workplace. Getting the balance right in the workplace is hard for parents, but we need to balance the support for dads and mums if we make strides toward a more level playing field and start to reduce the ever-widening gender pay gap.
Currently, the uptake of parental leave is at an all-time low, which is devastating. Not just for these new dads who are missing out on time with their newborns, but also because more time spent with dad can have a lasting impact on the child as they grow and develop. Research from the Fatherhood Institute found that during the first lockdown, dads spent almost twice the usual amount of time doing childcare and the outcomes were huge. Their relationships improved with their children. They understood them and felt closer to them because they didn’t just do ‘the fun stuff’; 68% of a research panel of dads revealed that they did more home-schooling and helped with the homework and 76% did more developmental activities with their children.
What if these hugely positive strides didn’t have to end with lockdown, and instead, workplaces could continue to support dads to be more involved with their children post-pandemic? This is something that Babbu, the first online nursery in the UK, has launched to tackle.
It is packed with educational content personalised to each child based on their age, preferences and developmental abilities, to help support every child’s development. Research from 240 parents with children under five from Babbu has shown that just 30% are using formal childcare, the other two-thirds are using informal childcare, often family and sometimes friends, or they have no childcare at all. The eye-watering costs of childcare are undoubtedly playing a role here, with research from Pregnant Then Screwed revealing that two-thirds of parents are now spending more on childcare bills than their mortgage or rent.
The cost of formal childcare isn’t showing any signs of going down either; in fact, Fawcett has found that attending nursery has increased by 44% in the last ten years, pricing some parents out completely. Alongside the revelation from the Times Education Commission report that 46% of children are starting school when they aren’t ‘school ready’, it is clear that there is a real need for support for parents to aid their children’s development in these trying times.
A lack of support from employers can see parents trying to work like they don’t have kids and to parent like they don’t work. Which means they aren’t getting the best out of either world. Added to this are the findings from Babbu that 79% of parents are worried about their child’s development, and 60% believe that Covid has impacted their child in some way. The first 1,001 days are universally acknowledged as the most crucial years for child development, so it’s understandable that parents worry that their children need more support.
The new online nursery should come as timely support for parents who make up 40% of the workforce today, as currently, 49% of parents feel that they have less than two people to turn to for support to aid their parenting. Babbu is the kind of business that wants to give parents a secret weapon for early child development and to help support equality in parenting by giving dads and mums the tools to help aid their children’s development and connect with them through fun, developmental activities.
When dads get this time, more than half of dads in the research sample from the Fatherhood institute found that they gained increased confidence to support their children’s learning. How incredible is that? We believe all dads deserve extra support to further their child’s development, and the lasting impact could be life-changing for families.