Pandemic has ECEC essential workers ready to walk from stress new research shows
New research commissioned by a digital mutual bank developed to cater exclusively for essential workers, including those in early childhood education and care (ECEC) has shown that managing mental health and the ongoing pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic are taking their toll on the majority of the essential worker cohort.
Commissioned by Hiver, the research found that two thirds of those working in the education sector have found that the pandemic has made it harder for them to fulfil their role, and has left nearly 20 per cent considering a change in career.
As a collective, 65 per cent of all the essential workers surveyed felt it had been more difficult to look after their own mental health as the pandemic continues, with cost of living pressures and challenges in securing finance and finding appropriate childcare also exacerbating the stress they are under.
In Victoria and New South Wales, where stricter and lengthier lockdowns have been implemented because of Delta variant outbreaks, almost 80 per cent of essential workers reported that they have found it harder to fulfil their roles on the front line this year, in comparison to 2020. This is a significantly different experience to essential workers in other states, where only around 38 per cent found their jobs harder to fulfil in 2021.
“We know the responsibilities that essential workers are taking on are more intense than ever because of the pandemic. The people who face-up to the very personal impacts of COVID-19 on a daily basis are telling us they are nearing breaking point,” Hiver Chief Digital Bank Officer Carolyn Murphy said.
“As the pandemic goes on, if we are expecting to continue our reliance on essential workers, we need to look carefully at how we can provide meaningful support in their lives.”