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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?

 

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

165 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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Gwendaelizabeth
3 days ago
0
Thanks for voting!
I am happy with this arrangement as it’s only during school holidays and the occasional weekend.
sparrer
3 days ago
0
Thanks for voting!
A yes and no, I loved looking after my grandchildren so their mother could work but they're all grown and have their own careers now. My daughter has a grandson whom she babysits so she's now enjoying what I did.
fabfifer
7th Oct 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I used to look after my eldest grandson before and after nursery then school. He no longer needs such care. My younger grandson lives further away and my daughter is his full time carer at present. If she decided to go back to work, I would gladly help out a few days a week.
LynneE4
7th Oct 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
(6 kids and 8th grandchild on the way.)

I travel a lot now I am technically retired but I make sure I am in England for all major moments. My mobile phone has not been switched on at the airport before my children know I am on all points alert for any help I can give. This is usually helping out with nursery and school drop offs and pick ups, with weekend stay overs, and frequent 'just a couple of hours while I go to the doctors/shopping/have a sleep, get ready for work.' These often involve their dogs too which is even more fun.

I prefer them all at my house as I think I can get on with my stuff at the same time but of course I never can or indeed want to.

My over-riding feeling is that I was so lucky to never have it assumed that I had to work while bringing up my 6 children. I gave up my work as an actress in the theatre, not without regret at the time, and I did part time and later full time teaching. I had no help from family whatsoever as my parents had died before I got married.

Occasionally my mother-in-law would come down from Glasgow to stay but this is what I find funny - it was me who would run around like a mad thing, looking after her, trying to keep the kids quiet and polite and gainfully employed ( no TV watching or making a mess) and the house perfect and meals well-presented. And most comically on reflection, breast-feeding but never mentioning the fact, pretending that I was going upstairs to clean the bathroom or something and praying the kids downstairs would be good without me to glare at them or shepherding them all upstairs with me pretending I was going to cut their toenails or something.

I very much missed having my Mum and Dad share my family with me; they would have been such wonderful grandparents in every way.

Even now and then I desert my kids to travel and also visit the youngest in Sydney. It's a sort of reward to myself for never doing anything at all while they were growing up. I guess we all have the best of everything now as a family. They all look after one another's kids too, so always the grandkids feel safe and very much loved by all of us.

I want my 3 daughters and 3 sons to enjoy modern life and modern expectations: coffees out with friends, holidays abroad, expensive activities with the children, regular meals out as a couple. With one wage it wasn't possible for us as a family when they were young. When I began part-time work, I had a couple of friends who I paid to mind the babies and toddlers and pick the children up from school until I returned, all very ad hoc depending on husband's shifts. No way would it have been worth me working nowadays with the 6 of them -now you pay regardless and cannot have an unregistered child-minder.

I wish there was a drop-in state child care provision system. Perhaps grandparents could run it!


All in all, it is what it is. And it will be in the future what it will be. But it will also be what we as grandparents choose to help to make it become.
PaulineM2
7th Oct 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I work part time and I help out a couple of days a week with school runs and after school care. It can be stressful at times but I enjoy seeing my grandchildren on a regular basis. I think our role is under valued, a bunch of flowers occasionally would be appreciated.
wiggerz
7th Oct 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
I still work full time doing nearly 60 hours a week and look after 3 of my grandchilren doing the school run 1 day a week and 5 of them in holidays.I love having them but feel that the government should acknowledge us and make childcare more affordable for hardworking families.
VivienO4
7th Oct 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Hello..yes I do look after my grandchildren during the week so that my son and partner can work...my son is away a lot with his job and his partner is a community nurse who works evenings. They live in Yorkshire I live in Lancashire, they usually pick me up Tuesday morning and I stay until Friday then they bring me home, as I don’t drive. I do this to save them money as they are still trying to get in housing ladder which is extremely difficult
I will be happy when they get some stability in their lives and can get settled down properly.
Lostindalrymple
7th Oct 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I am happy to help with childcare as I feel it's a joy to be involved in the lives of my grandchildren.. There are times I must admit when I go home feeling exhausted however I always recover quickly. My daughter and son in law really appreciate the support so that makes it all worthwhile.
Skep
7th Oct 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Happy to help out wherever we can
Cassann
7th Oct 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I still work 4 days a week in a very stressful job, I had my two grandchildren who are 4 months apart every Monday for 2.5 yrs, until they went to school, I did morning school runs before my own work also, it was hard work sometimes but I'm very close to my grandchildren and was always happy to help my daughter's who also work hard.
Alicia
6th Oct 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
No but they would not get it anyway !
Wilf
6th Oct 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
No really although we do have our grandson staying here quite a lot when our daughter has to work or is away
ecarg
5th Oct 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Happy to look after my granddaughter 2 days a week as does her other grandmother.Paying for childcare would make working unfinancially viable.

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