Does your family rely on you for childcare to enable them to work?
More than 50% of parents couldn’t manage without support from their own or their partner’s parents with childcare, according to new research from NCT.
In the survey to mark National Grandparents Day this Sunday (7th Oct), 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: “Parents are feeling the pressure of high childcare costs so if they can, they often turn to grandparents for support to save on nursery fees or so they’re actually able to go to work. However, they’re then also having to contend with feelings of guilt for asking their parents or partner’s parents to help with looking after their children.
“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. However, some also expressed feelings of worry and frustration.
What is your experience? Does your family rely on you to help provide childcare for your grandchildren to enable them to work? Are you happy to offer this support? Or does caring for your grandchildren hinder you?
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