The Impact of Daycare Closures Owing to COVID-19 on Parental Stress: A Case of Japan
This study aims to estimate the change in stress levels within households that had children under 6 years owing to the closure of daycare facilities in the wake of the state emergency declared in Japan in April 2020 to fight the COVID-19 crisis. Doubly robust difference-in-differences method is used based on household panel data. The results show that the stress of parents significantly increased when their children were forced to stay at home as daycare facilities closed. Another analysis also reveals that leaving children in daycare facilities during this period significantly reduced the stress of parents.