New VUB research measures parents’ childcare expectations in post-corona era

New VUB research measures parents’ childcare expectations in post-corona era

Results used for development of citizen childcare network and app

Parents can usually call on day-care services to look after their children during the working day. But during the coronavirus crisis, day-care centres, creches and childminders have largely been unavailable. Scientists from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, who are part of the European research project Families_Share, have launched a survey to explore how parents have combined childcare and work during the lockdown, and how they see the future. The researchers will use the insights from the study to improve their existing app, which helps groups of parents organise care for their children among themselves.

The online survey will gauge the impact that the coronavirus measures have had on parents’ working conditions, their wellbeing and that of their children, and the family’s plans for childcare in the summer. The survey is available from 10 June to 10 July via this link; it takes up to 25 minutes to complete.

The researchers hope to gain insights into how and to what extent the coronavirus has changed the needs and wishes of parents in relation to childcare, in order to improve the Families_Share app. Parents can use this app to register to babysit the children of neighbours or colleagues while they work. The platform has successfully been rolled out in six test cities in Europe: Kortrijk (Belgium), Venice, Trento and Bologna (Italy), Gyor (Hungary) and Thessaloniki (Greece). The project received funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

“With Families_Share, we want to help parents find a good work-life balance, which has become increasingly difficult in the past decade in Europe,” says Shenja Van Der Graaf, of imec-SMIT and VUB. “First because of the situation on the labour market, where there has been more work needed but which has also left many people in precarious work situations or without a job. Second, there have been major cuts to social services, meaning that in many European countries there are not enough childcare places available, and they are becoming more expensive. Childcare and after-school activities, which are crucial for a child’s development, are too often the preserve of children with better-off parents. The app offers an accessible and above all social solution to this.”


Shenja (Adriana) VAN DER GRAAF

+32 4705 09885

Contact us
Lies Feron
Lies Feron Wetenschapscommunicatie Persrelaties
Lies Feron
Lies Feron Wetenschapscommunicatie Persrelaties
About Press - Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Vrije Universiteit Brussel is an internationally oriented university in Brussels, the heart of Europe. By providing excellent research and education on a human scale, VUB wants to make an active and committed contribution to a better society.

The World Needs You

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel assumes its scientific and social responsibility with love and decisiveness. That’s why VUB launched the platform De Wereld Heeft Je Nodig – The World Needs You, which brings together ideas, actions and projects based on six Ps. The first P stands for People, because that’s what it’s all about: giving people equal opportunities, prosperity, welfare, respect. Peace is about fighting injustice, big and small, in the world. Prosperity combats poverty and inequality. Planet stands for actions on biodiversity, climate, air quality, animal rights... With Partnership, VUB is looking for joint actions to make the world a better place. The sixth and last P is for Poincaré, the French philosopher Henri Poincaré, from whom VUB derives its motto that thinking should submit to nothing except the facts themselves. VUB is an ‘urban engaged university’, strongly anchored in Brussels and Europe and working according to the principles of free research.


Press - Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussel