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As the fall quickly approaches, schools around the country are grappling with the best way to operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many school districts will start the year virtually, while others will open with a hybrid approach that combines face-to-face instruction with online learning. Even in areas where schools are open fully, many families will choose remote learning for their kids. Regardless of the specifics, millions of American children will spend at least some of their time learning from home this year.
According to the Pew Research Center, 80 percent of parents are employed either full time or part time. When considering households with children under 14 (the oldest minimum age a child can legally be left alone in any of the U.S. states), Census data shows that over 40 percent of families potentially lack an available parent to supervise the kids in the event of school closures.
Researchers at Smartest Dollar, a review site for financial products and services, ranked states according to the share of households with children under 14 that potentially lack a parent to watch the kids (defined as either both parents working full time in two-parent families or the one parent working full time in single-parent families). Researchers also calculated the number of married-couple households with both parents working, the number of single-parent households with a working parent, and the total number of households with kids under 14.
This analysis found that in New York, 41.0% of households with kids under 14 years old may not have a parent at home to watch them when school starts. Out of all states, New York has the 15th most stay-at-home parents as schools reopen in the United States.
Here is a summary of the data for New York: Share of households without a parent to watch the kids: 41.0% Married-couple households with both parents working: 412,114 Single-parent households with a working parent: 173,915 Total households with kids under 14: 1,430,915 Average number of kids under 14 per household: 1.7 For reference, here are the statistics for the entire United States: Share of households without a parent to watch the kids: 41.5% Married-couple households with both parents working: 7,460,793 Single-parent households with a working parent: 3,228,009 Total households with kids under 14: 25,749,434 Average number of kids under 14 per household: 1.8