This report outlines findings from a survey of 3, 057 parents of children aged from birth to 18-years-old that was run in late December 2022 and early January 2023. Conducted in partnership with Chase, the survey explored the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on children’s access to books and educational devices (e.g. child-friendly tables, e-readers and audio players) at home.
The cost-of-living crisis is affecting household finances across income brackets, with many parents and carers struggling financially under the current circumstances
- 91.9% of parents said they had noticed that their household’s cost of living had increased in the past 12 months. 2 in 5 (40.0%) said that they were now finding it difficult to cope with rising costs.
Parents said they were buying fewer books and educational devices for their children as a result of the cost-of-living crisis
- 1 in 5 (20%) parents said they were buying fewer books for their children, increasing to 1 in 3 (36.1%) of those who were struggling financially as a result of the cost-of-living crisis
- A quarter of parents (24.8%) reported spending less on educational devices, increasing to 2 in 5 (42.9%) for those who were struggling financially
Parents value the many benefits of reading for their children’s learning and well-being but some now feel to stressed to engage with their child’s literacy at home
- 4 in 5 (81.3%) parents said their child enjoys reading, and 3 in 5 (59.5%) said it helped their child relax
- However, 2 in 5 (40.9%) said there was no quiet space for their child to read at home, while 1 in 10 parents also said they felt too busy (12.4%) or stressed (10.3%) to engage with their child’s literacy at home
Many parents report borrowing more books and asking children to borrow more books from their school library. School libraries were valued by parents from all financial backgrounds
- Nearly 3 in 10 (28.2%) parents said they were borrowing more children’s books from the library, and 1 in 4 (25.5%) that they were asking their child to borrow more books from the school library.
- More than 9 in 10 (92.3%) parents said it was important that their child had access to a good school library, with parents from all financial backgrounds equally likely to say this.
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