How UK parents are feeling about school holidays

One of the most succinct ways to gauge someone’s thoughts and feelings is to ask them to describe something in one word or emotion. How would you describe your weekend just gone, only using one word or emotion?

With this in mind, we asked 1000 people to describe how they felt about the upcoming month of July. The two words that came out on top were ‘Hopeful’ and ‘Anxious’ – encapsulating how the UK feels as restrictions begin to lift and the UK reopens following lockdown. But what does this mean for retailers? Well, anything retailers can do to provide reassurance that they are taking appropriate steps to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 can help reduce consumer anxiety.

For our July Mood of the Nation report, we put a focus on school holidays and the impact of COVID-19 on parents who are working from home and providing childcare. At the time of our survey, there was no indication that grandparents or retired relatives would be able to help with childcare, and nurseries remained closed for most parents.

Therefore, when we asked parents to describe their feelings towards the upcoming school holidays, they viewed it very differently to their descriptions of July as a whole. When thinking about the school holidays, the positive emotions seen for July (‘Hopeful’) were less evident while the negative emotions (anxious) came to the forefront. ‘Worried’ was the keyword parents used, followed by ‘Nothing/Numb’, and then ‘Happy’.

UK parents feel very differently about July when it comes to school holidays

It would seem mounting pressures of returning or continuing to work from home and a lack of childcare options combined to produce negative emotions in parents. Combining this with a lack of vacations and parents do not seem to be looking forward to schools breaking up.

It is fascinating to see the vast difference in emotions being described by parents when referring to school holidays versus the hope for July.

To read more about our July Mood of the Nation report into how the UK public is feeling, please click here.

Written by Scott Willey, Associate Director at Spark Emotions
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Scott via email or connect with him on LinkedIn

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