In November 2023, GEEARS commissioned Hart Research Associates to conduct a poll of Georgia parents of children ages birth to five. The indisputable takeaway from this survey is that parents of young children in Georgia need help, especially in managing their families’ mental health and maintaining their financial stability—with child care as a critical element to both of these.

The 2023 poll revealed that families feel underserved by the state government and want policymakers to prioritize issues affecting parents’ day-to-day lives. Highlights from the poll include:
  • Four in 10 parents report that their overall economic situation, stress levels, and ability to pay weekly and monthly bills have grown more challenging over the last few years.

  • More than eight in 10 parents report that child care struggles have directly affected their financial situation in some way, most commonly through missed shifts or reduced hours at work.

  • Nearly half of parents surveyed had turned down job opportunities, and more than a third had left the workforce entirely because of child care challenges, with mothers feeling the disproportionate impact of both.

  • Only 32% of families believe the state government is doing a good job of meeting the needs of parents with young children.

Families broadly support the state government implementing specific policies to help young children and their caregivers:
  • 94% support eliminating the state sales tax on diapers.
  • 93% support increasing access to paid parental leave.
  • 92% support providing continuous eligibility for Medicaid from birth through age five.
  • 89% support increasing funding for CAPS so that more families with low incomes can afford care.

GEEARS regularly surveys Georgia voters to better understand attitudes and opinions about early learning. We continuously find strong, bipartisan support for early care and education in Georgia. In September 2022, we conducted our latest poll and, again, found strong support for programs for our earliest learners. 

The 2022 poll found that early childhood education, mental health supports, and paid family leave are important issues to Georgians. Highlights from the poll include:
  • Nearly eight in ten (78%) agree that expanding access to high-quality child care gives parents the opportunity to participate in the workforce, which is good for Georgia’s economy. 

  • Nearly nine in ten (88%) support Georgia’s Lottery-funded Pre-K.

  • More than eight in ten (83%) support increasing salaries for child care and preschool teachers.

  • Most indicate they are more likely to vote for candidates who support early care & learning (55%) and mental health supports for children and families (68%). 

  • More than nine in ten (93%) agree that children’s social-emotional development during their early years is important to their later school success.    

  • Four in five support paid family leave, whether for the birth or adoption of a child (80%) or to care for themselves or a family member with an illness (83%).   

Learn more from the 2022 Georgia Likely Voter Poll Materials!

These issues aren’t Republican. They’re not Democrat. They really operate outside of these polarized political boundaries here.

- Rob Schmidt, McLaughlin & Associates