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New Study Shows Working Parents in U.S. Expect More Employer, Government Support for Child Care

January 25, 2023

KinderCare’s 2023 Parent Confidence Report finds hybrid work is changing parents’ child care needs and expectations 

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Today, KinderCare Learning Companies® released the results of its 2023 Parent Confidence Report, a national study conducted by The Harris Poll, which found that while parent confidence remains high, working parents increasingly expect more child care support from employers and the government. The new report also sheds light on the ways working parents view the future of work, and just how heavily child care affordability and accessibility weighs on them, both mentally and financially. 
After years of uncertainty surrounding the future of work, the new report found that hybrid work is here to stay. Nearly 4 out of 10 parents report that they work from a hybrid work environment and more than 4 out of 10 parents saying that hybrid work is their ideal scenario, up five percent in just a year. Additionally, six out of 10 working parents say there is a disconnect between the level of support they need and what benefits their employer provides.  As a result, working parents are rethinking their professional lives—switching jobs, scaling back hours, even quitting—because quality child care is too difficult or expensive to secure.
“As we enter 2023, it’s encouraging to see that parent confidence is on the rise while hybrid work continues to change working parents’ needs and expectations,” said Tom Wyatt, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of KinderCare Learning Companies. “With one third of the American workforce, 50 million U.S. workers, having children at home, it’s clear families need more support. That’s why KinderCare is here, working with communities, schools and employers to bring high quality child care to even more families than ever.” 
Key findings from this year’s report include:
  • Child care benefits remain highly desired by working parents. Child care benefits were the second most important reason for parents staying at their current job—with 18% ranking them as most important benefit—behind health insurance but above PTO. Over half of parents surveyed also admitted they’d take a pay cut to work for a company that provided quality childcare, and 67% believe employers should offset the cost of childcare for employees (up 5% from 2020). 
  • Child care support alleviates stress and increases parent confidence. The majority of parents agree having access to quality child care allows them to not only excel at work but also be more present as a parent when they are with their children, with 82% of parents who use daycare or preschool for childcare noting that they are highly self-confident. On the flipside, 64% of parents say they are constantly thinking about child care gaps, with half also noting that piecing together enough child care coverage is a significant source of stress.
  • Even as the pandemic settled, parents experienced a sharp rise in safety concerns. The majority of parents noted their children’s health and safety is their top priority.  When it comes to deciding on a child care provider, 50% of parents said best-in-class safety measures are an important factor, an 18% increase over 32% in 2022.
  • American parents expect the government to address the child care crisis. Seventy percent of parents agree that child care is at a crisis point in terms of accessibility and affordability, and parents want a guarantee that child care will be available to those who need it. In fact, 66% believe the government should offer universal child care to all children, from birth to kindergarten.
View this year’s Parent Confidence Report here.
The Parent Confidence Report examines confidence levels of parents and the factors that impact them. The first study was conducted in 2019, and this year’s survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of KinderCare from November 11, 2022, to November 17, 2022, among 2,002 parents with children aged 12 and younger representing a national sample. Within the sample, 1,053 parents with children ages 5 and under and 949 parents with children aged 6-12 were also surveyed.
About KinderCare Learning Companies®
A leading provider early childhood and school-age education and care, KinderCare builds confidence for life in children and families from all backgrounds. KinderCare supports hardworking families in 40 states and the District of Columbia with differentiated flexible child care solutions to meet today’s dynamic work environment: 
  • In neighborhoods, with KinderCare® Learning Centers that offer high-quality early learning programs for children six weeks to 12 years old and with Crème de la Crème®, which offers a premium early education model using a variety of themed classrooms; 
  • At work, through KinderCare Education at Work™, providing customized family benefits for employers across the country, including employer-supported child care benefits, on-site and near-site early learning centers and back-up care for last-minute child care, and 
  • In local schools, with Champions® before and after-school programs. 
KinderCare programs meet the highest standards, validated by independent, third-party evaluation including: 
  • Gallup, measuring workforce engagement, 
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children, ensuring individual early learning center quality,  
  • Cognia, accreditation for before- and after-school programs 
  • BRIGANCE® and TerraNova® assessments of children’s academic progress and achievement, and 
  • WELL Health-Safety Rating™, validating health and safety practices in our facilities.  
Headquartered in Lake Oswego, Oregon, KinderCare operates more than 2,000 early learning centers and sites. In 2022, KinderCare earned its sixth Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award – one of only four organizations worldwide to achieve this milestone for six consecutive years. To learn more, visit
Media Contact 
Colleen Moran
KinderCare Learning Companies® 
503-872-1300, option 3