Spoiler: families have had it rough this year. But there have been a few bright spots.
In November 2020, we asked 192 Atlanta-based families questions about their current schooling and child care habits. Some results were expected (parents are tired of virtual learning) while others were less predictable (45% of kids are attending school full time).
Whether you’re a parent, child care provider, educator, or Atlanta-based business, there’s something for every group to learn from these results.
The survey revealed families are roughly spending 5% LESS on childcare since the pandemic began—$687/mo down from $722/mo (weighted average).
In fact, many more families are spending virtually nothing on childcare since the crisis began—and only a handful more families have increased their spending. We noted a 15% movement of families from "the middle," roughly $500-$2000/mo, to either extreme in monthly spending, either $0/mo or $2000+/mo.
When it comes to schooling, 45% of SitterTree families are sending their kids to school full-time—a higher total than we expected. The majority of the 45% are either enrolled in private school or private pre-school. The second-largest schooling group, at 19%, are full-time remote learners.
64% of families indicated they want to send their kids back to school full time in January 2021. Meaning: parents are tired of remote learning. No surprise there. 19% of families remain undecided, waiting for school districts to announce their decisions. Our data also included a small group of homeschooling parents and parents of non-schooled babies and toddlers.
Parents also expressed clear dissatisfaction with their current child care options, not surprising in a year that has put stress on parents in every conceivable way. In general, parents are no more satisfied with their childcare situation than they are with their cable company or internet service provider.*
However, SitterTree is a bright spot within the childcare industry, with a comparatively excellent net promoter score.** Based on open feedback from parents, we believe this stems mostly from our high-caliber sitters, our industry-leading screening process, and our top-notch customer service.
Here's one of just 2000+ 5-start reviews we've received since the pandemic began:
"Cori is incredibly considerate and respects the pandemic situation we are all in.
She showed up masked and continuously washed her hands. She even brought her own coloring and work book to share with my four year old which went over well. She won his heart and ours! She checks in and gives updates too, class act."
-Dana N. | Atlanta, GA.
Zooming in on parents, 72% haven’t been on a date in months—if at all. Based on open feedback, this seems due to a perceived lack of safety as well as the fact that most date-night spots are closed, have limited capacity or service, or are perceived as unsafe. Those who are going on dates seem to be spending A LOT of time outside.
We also found that we tend to serve smaller families, which came as a surprise to our team. 77% of our customers have 2 or fewer children (34% have just one child).
Though two-children families are just under the 2.3 average for Atlanta, our hypothesis was that we served larger families that needed a break. Instead, what we found is that we’re actually serving NEWER families. In fact, SitterTree was THE VERY FIRST babysitting experience for many of our families—which may come as a shock to any parent who had a kid prior to 2017.
SitterTree was THE VERY FIRST babysitting experience for many of our families—which may come as a shock to any parent who had a kid prior to 2017.
Finally, when asked what they liked most about SitterTree, parents overwhelmingly highlighted SItterTree’s industry-leading vetting process and the ability of our sitters to engage children. Beyond safety and quality, families indicated they enjoy the ease of use of the SitterTree platform.
We also surveyed 119 Atlanta-based SitterTree sitters. Here are some of our key findings:
First, it’s notable that 55% of our sitters have been tested for COVID within the last month—in large part thanks to frequent, convenient, ubiquitous testing on college campuses.
COVID is also responsible for an increase in the average education level of our sitters. Nearly half (49%) of our sitters have completed their bachelor's degree, with another 20% either working on or having completed their master's or Ph.D. Though we’re proud of our sitters' education, this also demonstrates a weak US job market—especially for young, female professionals.
This trend is also demonstrated in our sitters’ age distribution. Over 26% of our sitters are now at least 25 years old, a slight uptick from pre-COVID times.
Finally, we wanted to take a minute to brag on ourselves. SitterTree sitters really love working for SitterTree—giving us an exceptionally high Net Promoter Score of just over 85%.*** We’re so very proud to serve our sitter community.
* With a Net Promoter Score of just 3%, this means that almost as many parents say they are "very dissatisfied" with their current childcare options as those who say they are "very satisfied."
** SitterTree's Net Promoter Score is 58.8%, based on the question, "How likely are you to recommend SitterTree to a friend or family member?” For reference, Cable and Internet Service providers hover around 1% NPS, the Health Insurance industry averages 19%, and beloved retailers like Apple and Costco clock in around 59%. Industry NPS scores gathered via a 2020 Satmetrix study.
*** Based on Net Promoter Score. “How likely are you to recommend working for SitterTree to a friend or family member?”