Feeling the strain: Half of parents spend over 2,000 hours a year on child admin

The burden of extensive child admin is proving enough to put overwhelmed parents off kids for good

Feeling the strain: Half of parents spend over 2,000 hours a year on child admin

  • Child admin has a direct effect on the love lives of 53% of parents
  • For nearly a third (30%) of parents, child admin is the reason they decided not to have any more children
  • Cooking, gardening and cleaning tasks are all preferred to managing the paperwork involved in child admin

Any mum or dad will tell you that being a parent is a full-time job but, when it comes to child-related admin, just how much time is required? According to new research for Epson’s EcoTank printers, nearly three out of five respondents (58%) spend up to three hours on child admin – such as paperwork for school, hobbies, clubs, healthcare and other childcare-related tasks – each day.

Furthermore, this same 58% of parents agree that they spend as much time thinking about child admin as actually doing it, bringing them up to six hours a day. This equates to 42 hours a week or 2,184 hours a year which, in practical terms, is equivalent to a year of full-time employment.

Of the 1,000 UK consumers surveyed, more than three quarters (76%) of respondents confessed that they under estimated how much admin would be involved in parenthood and 55% have felt overwhelmed by the volume of admin since having children.

Worryingly, the amount of time being spent on such tasks is also having an emotional impact, with stresses spilling over into other aspects of parents’ lives. A third (34%) of parents revealed that child admin is one of the biggest causes of arguments with their partner and more than half of parents agree that it affects their love life (53%). Furthermore, nearly a third (30%) of parents admitted that child admin is a reason they decided not to have any more kids, highlighting the pressure that is being placed on time-poor mums and dads.

With this in mind, it isn’t surprising that over half of parents (54%) would prefer to undergo a painful experience – such as –going to the dentist than manage all the paperwork involved. And almost all household chores are favoured to child admin with cooking being the most-preferred task for 58% of parents, followed by gardening (38%) and cleaning (29%).

Hester Grainger a working mother of two and blogger @mummysavingshopper said, “When my daughter started school, I couldn’t believe how the child admin went through the roof. Since my son started as well, the admin has literally doubled. I now have two sets of each form to fill out, even though they both go to the same school! On average, I have 4-5 forms a week to complete. These vary from school trips and clubs, charity awareness days, party invitations and various PTA and governor forms. I’ve had to implement a special filing system just to handle it, so I don’t miss anything. This doesn’t include admin required outside of school which means that my own life admin definitely takes a back seat. Every parent I know feels the same strain, so anything that can buy back some precious time or take some of the burden out of child admin would be a godsend.

“Parents today are spending a huge amount of time on child-related admin. Our research reveals that parents suffer emotional stress and it even puts a strain on marriages,” commented Annika Fagerstrom, director for consumer products at Epson UK.  “With 58% of parents agreeing that child admin takes up more of their time than their own life admin, they are clearly in need of something to help make their lives easier.
“As paperwork and child admin go hand in hand, Epson’s cartridge-free EcoTank printers can make life easier by providing a stress-free experience.  It comes with enough ink for up to three years’ worth of printing – that means you can print without worrying about the cost and you can avoid running out of ink when you need it most. There’s simply one less thing to think about and you won’t have to waste time frequently changing cartridges. And when you do run out of ink, it’s easy to fill the printer with the large ink bottles. They really are the perfect partner for child admin – helping parents reclaim  their time to do the things they enjoy with the people they love.”

Note to Editors

Coleman Parkes Research Limited polled 1,000 parents of children under the age of 18.