Supporting parents, children, young people and carers - Coronavirus advice

Parental consultation

The experiences of lockdown by parents and carers

In November 2020 we asked parents and carers across Edinburgh how they experienced being in lockdown.

View parental consultation newsletter

An incredible 2424 responses from parents and carers were received in just 3 weeks.

  • 64% of all parents and carers reported that there had been positives for their families during the lockdown period
  • 64% also reported that the lockdown period had been very or quite challenging

Positives of the lockdown period 

You enjoyed

"More time together as a family. More outdoor exercise together. Finding ways to be creative"

Other positives included:

  • Parents and carers feeling grateful for the extra, un-pressured time together with their children
  • Getting to know their children better
  • Being more involved with school learning
  • Being supported by excellent schools outreach/regular communication
  • Enjoying the outdoors, having supportive flexible employers, having supportive family and friends
  • Positive attitude to a slower pace of life

The challenges of lockdown

‘No garden for kids to play in.’ ‘Small flat causing lots of tension and arguments.’ ‘Loss of earnings due to furlough caused financial pressures.’ 

Other challenges included:

  • Being alone with children in confined living spaces, with little or no access to devices
  • Feeling inadequate and ill equipped to home school their children
  • Being denied support
  • Increased feelings of depression, anxiety, anger and loneliness
  • Lack of contact from schools or services
  • New mums feeling overwhelmed
  • Struggling alone with children with Additional Support Needs
  • No access to outside spaces
  • Not knowing where to get help such as food and finance

Areas of support

Top 5 areas parents and carers felt families would need support to move on from the pandemic

  • Mental Health 70%
  • Childrens Education 69%
  • Access to Activities 62%
  • Childcare 43%
  • Financial Advice 40%

What would Help?

You said:

‘Welcoming staff’

‘Confidential helpline or platform to ask for help’

‘More availability of services and online referrals’

‘Routes in from every direction. Viewed as for everyone, not for failing parents.’

‘Getting rid of the ‘stigma’ and normalising the need for support.’

‘Someone understanding of what you are going through and patience’

‘Not too many questions take out the embarrassment’

‘More awareness of how common mental health problems are in children’

How we are responding

What we will do

We will be using the response from parents and carers in this survey to ensure that family support and parental help is a key theme and consideration in initiatives to support and fund mental health and wellbeing.

  • We will spend time analysing comments from parents and carers who completed the survey
  • We will be sharing the findings of this survey among other services including the NHS, Schools, Social Work and Third Sector to inform the shape of family support..
  • We will continue to consult with parents and carers to ensure that you can better access the right information and help about family support at the right time.

Further information

We want to say a huge thank you to all parents and carers who completed this survey.

View more information about parent and carer support across the city

If you have any questions or want to contact us please email

[email protected]