“Finding reliable childcare can can be stressful!” says childcare website

Another good example of a buried lede here, with the finding that parents are more worried about the state of their homes than they are about losing their children:


Two-thirds of parents say they’ve suffered poor mental health since having children

Being a parent is stressful for myriad reasons, but it turns out that the biggest cause of aggravation for mothers and fathers has nothing to do with their children.

More than half (60 per cent) of respondents said that worrying about the cleanliness of their home was more stressful than the thought of losing their child in a crowd, which was the main stressor for just 16 per cent of people surveyed.

Source: Independent, 6th June 2019

If that seems like a counter-intuitive finding, don’t worry: it’s a PR survey, put together by a company with a commercial axe to grind, so the data is almost certainly meaningless. In this case, the company behind it was trying to encourage parents to consider their childcare options:

In fact, according to a new survey of more than 4,000 parents conducted by Childcare.co.uk, having a messy home causes more stress for parents than anything else.

Why would a childcare company be interested in making parents worry about the cleanliness of their homes? Put simply, they aren’t: their real intent is in the secondary statistics.

Other sources of stress identifying in the survey were lack of sleep (55 per cent) and finding appropriate childcare (30 per cent).

So the real PR angle here is: “We know you have lots of things to worry about, and we know finding good childcare is one of those worries. We can’t clean your home, but we can at least make sure your kids are looked after”.

But if Childcare came out and said it as transparently as that, the message would have much less impact and stickiness than it has if it comes dressed up with the trappings of sociological research.