More than 80 per cent of parents would not have travelled for emergency childcare during lockdown, survey finds

Olivia Petter
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More than 80 per cent of parents would not have travelled for emergency childcare in lockdown, new research has found.

Mumsnet surveyed 965 of its members to uncover their views on emergency childcare in lockdown following the controversy surrounding the prime minister’s chief advisor, Dominic Cummings.

Mr Cummings has been under scrutiny for his movements in April during the UK’s national lockdown, which included driving 260 miles from London to Durham, and a journey to Barnard Castle in the northeast.

In a statement delivered on Monday afternoon, Mr Cummings said that he had travelled north to isolate in a property on his father’s farm because of concerns over care for his four-year-old son, if both he and his wife were incapacitated by Covid-19.

However, as the survey shows, the majority of other parents in the UK would not have made the same decision given the circumstances.

Almost a quarter (23 per cent) of those surveyed said that they had also found themselves in a situation where one parent was ill and the other was concerned they may become ill too whilst they were both caring for a young child.

However, they did not travel for emergency childcare like Mr Cummings did.

Nine in 10 of those questioned said that they believed the chief advisor to Boris Johnson had broken the rules of lockdown.

Meanwhile, another 33 per cent of respondents said that knowing Mr Cummings’ movements has meant they are now more likely to flout lockdown rules.

Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts said: “It’s clear from our respondents and the Mumsnet discussion boards that Dominic Cummings’ interpretation of lockdown rules was not how parents around the country viewed them.

“Many of our users have found themselves in similar circumstances with concerns about how they might care for their children in the event of falling ill but very few thought that meant they could ignore guidance to stay at home.

“Perhaps the most worrying aspect is that a large number of parents now freely admit they’ll break the rules to visit friends and family.”

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