Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

How much to give mum to look after DD?

(20 Posts)
PineappleBed Sun 10-Jun-12 09:39:41

When I go back to work in November my mum has asked to look after DD. I'm so grateful and delighted about this and know I'm really lucky.

I'll be going to work three days a week and DD will be with her approx 8.00-5.30.

Now obviously I'm going to give mum money for this but I have no idea how much! I need to give her an amount which doesn't insult her by either being too low (so looking like I'm taking the mick) or too high (so it looks like I just think she's staff).

I've spoken to her about it but she doesn't have a clue either.

Any suggestions/help about how to work out a fair amount very gratefully received!

(ps it is legal for her to do this without her being ofsted registered - exemption 3 of the fact sheet at this link)

AlisonMA Sun 10-Jun-12 10:01:22

Difficult one. How much would a childminder or nursery cost where you live? Perhaps using that as a guide maybe you could give her 75%? that's off the top of my head but others I know pay nothing but:

take Mum on holiday every year
buy Mum presents
take Mum out for treats.

Is Mum giving up work to do this? If she is then she should be compensated accordingly.

Will Mum be providing food, nappies etc.? You need to make sure she is not out of pocket at all.

If it were me I would probably say I didn't want to be paid but then later I might feel I had been taken advantage of but that may be because my DiL only seems to want to see us when we can be useful or buy something.

I hope you get lots of responses you can share with Mum and that they will help with your decision.

tanith Sun 10-Jun-12 10:15:00

If I were to do it (which I wouldn't) I think at least half of what you would pay to a childminder would be what I'd think appropriate and you would supply all that the child needed.
Hats off to your Mum for the offer , don't lose sight of how much she is giving up to do this for you , free time is precious. I don't know about the legal side of things , might affect any benefit she claims..

vampirequeen Sun 10-Jun-12 10:32:22

Remember you won't be able to claim childcare tax allowance if your mum has your daughter.

It's a ridiculous and unfair rule. Why shouldn't a family member be paid for the work involved in childcare? After all as AllisonMA said your mum is giving up her free time.

Rant at government over lol.......I think you should pay your mum around 75% of the childminder rate (if you can afford it). If not, like most mums, she'll do it anyway to help you out.

crimson Sun 10-Jun-12 11:13:13

Please, please set out any rules before it starts and make a point of sitting down on a regular basis and both of you honestly pointing out anything that seems to be going wrong for either of you. And, when you get in from work tired and stressed, treat your mum like the 'childminder' not the 'babysitter' and remember that she will be equally as tired from looking after a small child for such a long time. From what's just happened to me I can see how easily the dynamics of family relationships can change in such circumstances, and I'd hate it to happen to anyone else. Another thing that happens as you get older and find that your children are depending on you for childminding is that you worry [at least I did] about your health; not from a personal point of view but from a 'letting people down' aspect. Make sure she feels free to tell you if she is finding it too much [mind you, she might be a bit younger than me], as she will hate to do so for fear of putting pressure on you when you're juggling motherhood and work.

AlisonMA Sun 10-Jun-12 11:25:37

I think what crimson says is very good advice, laying down groundrules is essential.

kittylester Sun 10-Jun-12 11:29:56

Good points [crimson]

I have found that I have really enjoyed looking after, first, our eldest grandson followed, eighteen months later, by our eldest granddaughter but I started doing it for half a day a week when I was 59! Now, at 63, I have them a day a week and I'm exhausted at the end of the day!

I have not been paid and have felt privileged to be part of their lives but a big drawback is that, with other commitments such as helping my husband with his work, my non-negotiable (!!) voluntary work, dealing with, and seeing my Mum, I have very little time to see the subsequent grandchildren and certainly could not offer them the same amount of time and effort!

What I'm saying, I suppose, is that there are lots of things to be taken into consideration, not just paying your mum. Good luck! smile

Anagram Sun 10-Jun-12 11:36:17

All good advice.
I would just add that three days a week for the hours you quote is a big commitment - is there any backup plan should your Mum be ill or have an emergency? I know from looking after my own two GC that you can start to feel pressurised, and Monday morning looms large if you're not feeling 100%!

FlicketyB Sun 10-Jun-12 11:39:49

How about the National Minimum wage?

Anagram Sun 10-Jun-12 11:44:48

That would come to approximately £230 a week!
Depends what DD is earning, or course.

Anagram Sun 10-Jun-12 11:47:04

Sorry, not right! Approx. £170 a week! blush

glammanana Sun 10-Jun-12 12:42:11

Whilst it is lovely to be awarded the pleasure and responsibility of caring for our DCs by our own off springs (and I would take that as a compliment on our parenting skills) I agree with *Anagram that a support system needs to be put in place to safe guard against any emergencies one never knows if carer is going to be ill or hospitalised and then everything goes to pot ? With regard to payment just make sure mum is not out of pocket with anything and keep a look out for her taking on to much and not being able to back out of the agreement if it is not going to plan.

Mishap Sun 10-Jun-12 12:57:34

This is an interesting question and people have made very useful points which are the result of personal experience.

If one of my daughters wanted me to do this, I would feel privileged to be such a close part of my GC's lives, but I would worry about having the health and energy to do the job well regularly.

The D with children who lives nearest us says very clearly that she does not want me to be a childminder but to be a "real grandmother" (as yet undefined!) - but I do have a huge amount of fun with them and see them two or three times a week. But this D is lucky enough not to need to go out to work.

I can see the advantages from the D's point of view - as she will know that her child is being cared for in a way that she is in sympathy with and by someone who loves her child as she does and would walk through fire for her!

It is a big compliment to be asked and I do hope that you and your little one have wonderful times together - but I do think that the advice about setting the ground rules and the back up for sickness right at the start.

I like the idea of "payment in kind" - e.g shared holiday etc as has been suggested. Gets round all this tax allowance milarky.

PineappleBed Sun 10-Jun-12 12:59:48

This is all really helpful advice. I think I'm starting with the easy stuff (money) before moving on to the tricky stuff.

I want to have review points I think as I really don't want mum to feel she has to do it if she isn't enjoying it or it gets too much. She's only 54 and in good health so she's not too worried about coping at the moment and my dad will be there too to help (in his own special style!) but just because she's capable of doing it she shouldn't if she finds it's not for her.

Crimson, anagrams and glammanana you raise some really good points. I'm glad we're thinking about this now rather than in October!

Any hints and tips about pitfalls to avoid also great filly received.

Many thanks again!

glammanana Sun 10-Jun-12 13:01:26

Would the "payment in kind" be able to be sorted by gift vouchers or similar ? holidays sound good also

crimson Sun 10-Jun-12 13:14:50

54 should be ok [and with someone else on hand to help in his own little way!]. It was when I hit 60 that I started to find myself getting very tired, and I don't think my daughter picked up on it until it was too late. Sometimes the closer you are as mother and daughter the worse it gets when it goes wrong. Just keep talking on here [get your mum to join in as well].

nanaej Sun 10-Jun-12 15:38:38

I look after my DGS two afternoons a week. Often I also have my DGD2, his cousin, who is similar age. I find that an easier arrangement as they play with each other now they are older! I think you need to agree systems for holidays etc as others have said.. better get it clear before the caring starts: who provides food /nappies/ creams/wipes etc as all adds up. Also if you have expectations that your mum will take your DD to toddler groups /stay & play etc
The way round benefit issues, if that is part of the equation, would be to give generous gift tokens for birthday, mothers' day and Xmas etc rather than cash!

misunderstood Sun 10-Jun-12 15:52:16

In my opinion if you are looking after your grandchild so you can help your daughter to have a better life then you dont need paying so long as there are ground rules e.g. stick to pick up times and they provide food and any nappies. On the other hand if you are doing it to earn a little extra cash then you need to compromise between what it would cost them to pay a nursery.

numberplease Sun 10-Jun-12 17:56:12

I`ve looked after 5 of my grandchildren over the years, at the moment I have the youngest one, he`s just 4, but it isn`t all day, 2 weeks it`s from 7am till we take him to nursery at 12.30pm, the 3rd week we pick him up from nursery at 3.15pm and he stays with us till his mum picks him up at 4.45pm. I`m now 69, and to be honest, would find it too much to start having a baby to look after, but now he`s getting a bit older he`s fine. Our son and his wife wouldn`t be able to afford official childcare, I just asked them to pay me £1 an hour, which gives me a bit of pocket money, and also helps me to save for holidays, they provide all his food, I give him drinks.

PineappleBed Sun 10-Jun-12 22:03:04

Thank you for all your advice and tips, you've really helped me with this!