Canadian Parents Mix Learning and Games in COVID-19 Outbreak

One-in-four parents (26%) have not set a time limit for their kids to have access to non-educational entertainment options.

Vancouver, BC [April 24, 2020] – Canadian parents are relying on a variety of options to educate and entertain their young children as the COVID-19 keeps schools closed, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample of parents with children aged 14 or under at home, 65% of respondents say their kids are participating in entertainment activities that do not involve electronics, such as board games and puzzles.

Similar proportions of Canadian parents are relying on educational activities that involve electronics, such as tablets or smartphones (64%) and educational activities that do not involve electronics (62%).

Three-in-five parents (61%) are giving their kids access to tablets, smartphones or video game consoles for non-educational purposes, and a majority (53%) are allowing children to have access to non-educational streaming content.

Parents in Manitoba and Saskatchewan are decidedly ahead of all others when it comes to letting children to rely on tablets, smartphones or video game consoles for non-educational purposes (94%). The incidence is significantly lower in Atlantic Canada (65%), British Columbia (64%), Ontario (62%), Alberta (61%) and Quebec (47%).

“The notion of allowing children aged 14 and under to stream non-educational content at home during the COVID-19 outbreak is more popular among parents in Manitoba and Saskatchewan (83%) and British Columbia (62%),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Fewer parents in Alberta (52%), Ontario (49%), Quebec (47%) and Atlantic Canada (also 47%) favour this approach.”

Two in five parents (41%) say they have established a time limit for their child (or children) to have access to entertainment options for non-educational purposes and it has been met.

One third of parents (33%) acknowledge setting a time limit for their kids to be entertained, but say it has been difficult to meet. One-in-four (26%) did not establish a time limit at all.

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from April 9 to April 15, 2020, among 824 adults in Canada who have a child aged 14 or under at home. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.
 
Find our full dataset here and download the press release here.
 
For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca