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Does your family rely on you for childcare to enable them to work?

With half-term on the horizon, will you be called upon to look after your grandchildren to enable their parents to work? 

More than 50% of parents couldn’t manage without support from their own or their partner’s parents with childcare, according to research from NCT.

Since the survey was carried out, the Coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the older generation who may have been previously helping out with regular childcare.

In the survey, more than half (52%) revealed their child’s grandparents helped with childcare so they could work, whilst 60% admitted feeling guilty about having to ask them for help.

In the UK it’s estimated the average cost of sending a child under two to nursery full time is £232.83 a week, but in London, parents can typically pay up to £100 a day.

More than a third of parents (38%), said they relied on grandparents’ support several times a week or more – showing that grandparents play a vital role in many families.

For those parents who don’t get as much support as they’d like with childcare, 63% said it was because grandparents lived too far away or weren’t available, while 50% said they weren’t interested in helping out. Thirteen per cent said their child’s grandparents were still working.

Senior policy adviser at NCT, Elizabeth Duff said:  “Some grandparents commit to looking after their grandchildren on a specific day or days each week, whilst others help with nursery pick-ups if they live close by, or on more of an ad-hoc basis, for instance, if children are ill and they have to work. Parents who don’t have family available to help with childcare, tell us it can be difficult to juggle everything – some rely on their friends to help out in emergencies.”

Of the parents who completed the survey who had support from grandparents, many commented positively on the help they received and on the bond between grandparents and their children.

What is your experience? Does your family rely on you to help provide childcare for your grandchildren to enable them to work?  How has the pandemic impacted on childcare in your family?

Does your family rely on you for childcare to enable them to work?

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MarianneAb
26th Oct 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I think to be part of childcare for your grandchildren brings such joy and I have being doing such for 10 years. This has meant that we have such a closeness to all four grandchildren plus such love from them which has added to all of our lives. It has also meant that our daughter can continue to progress their very successful careers which also makes us proud.
ecarg
20th Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I look after my granddaughter twice a week as does her paternal grandparents. Her company at age 3 is welcome and we enjoy making a mess together.
I would have been glad of the opportunity to go to work leaving the children in the care of grandparents ,instead I child minded at home which also provided company for my own child .and a little income for me
For many the cost of childcare makes going to work pointless .but at least nursery provision has increased .
LorraineRose
20th Oct 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
I am extremely lucky to have a good relationship with my son and daughter in law and they are mindful that I have a social life out with the family. I welcome being able to look after my grandchildren and do so with love and thanks. My own mother helped me tremendously with childcare when I became a single parent and I wouldn't be the person I am today if I hadn't had her help.
They are also aware that they shouldn't always rely on "granny" always being available. Grandparents should be grandparents and not a carer. I appreciate that this is not always the case for families. How I manage this is by always doing the silly things with them like jumping in the puddles, sitting on the swings, letting them wash the dishes and make a mess, Enjoy looking after your grandchildren but enjoy being a grandparent more.
Judebling
20th Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Yes I provide “informal childcare “ for my two beautiful grandsons to enable my daughter and her partner to work. I am fortunate that they live directly across the street and we are considered an “extended household “ and therefore not in breach of any lockdown rules in Scotland. However this has not stopped my ghastly neighbour from deciding that we are and sending the police to my door on several occasions. I’m sure you can imagine how upsetting this has been for all of us but I will continue to look after them so long as there is breath in my body! They are the greatest joy of my life especially now as I am fighting breast cancer and we are all fighting the pandemic which has brought out the very best in so many and unfortunately the very worst in some.
LorraineRose
20th Oct 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
How extremely sad that your neighbour sees the need to report you to the police. The saying "people in glass houses" etc comes to mind. Like you my grandchildren are my greatest joy. ignore the nasty people (there is probably jealously there) and enjoy being with your beautiful grandsons. I pray that you recover from breast cancer and wish you well.
Wilf
20th Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Our grandson has to be looked after some days while his mum and dad are working.
Valleyman
19th Oct 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
My granddaughter has to be dropped off at my door, and I'm not allowed to go over to her house. It's better than not seeing her at all.
Munsterlander
19th Oct 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Occasionally we look after our grandchildren but we will have to be more careful in future.
MrsPat
19th Oct 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
Yes we have to look after our grandson every few weeks however this will become difficult over the next few months with all these lockdowns.

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