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Help with daycare costs

(36 Posts)
Victoria08 Thu 26-May-16 17:55:14

My daughter has recently returned to work for two days a week.
She asked me if I would have g.son for one day a week.
I said I couldn't manage cos of bad back, but would have him for two days a month.

Because I felt guilty, I offered to pay half the nursery costs for the two days I wouldn't be having him.

My question is this. Do any other grans help out with nursery fees.
My son disapproves, saying its not right and I am a pensioner after all.

She is not a single mum and has a partner.

ninathenana Thu 26-May-16 18:11:59

Sorry but there's no way I would offer to do this. I was lucky to be able to help with my time but I would not pay. Especially when your daughter has a partner. I understand why you can't do as much childcare as you'd like your health is a big consideration and you have nothing to feel guilty about.
Paying maybe a way of easing your conscience but I don't think it's fair on you.
What was her reaction to your offer?

grannylyn65 Thu 26-May-16 18:50:55

I offered to pay as am 'unreliable' due to health issues ( my condition is vary variable ) but they wouldn't hear of it.

Iam64 Thu 26-May-16 18:54:57

I know many grandparents who offer a day or two care for grandchildren who live close by but pay nursery/childminder costs for their grandchildren who live a distance away. It depends I believe on how much energy and cash the grandparents have. The cost of childcare is high. There have been a number of discussions about "young parents both working so they can have big cars/fancy holidays". I'll say here I don't judge young parents. Life is different than it was for me, my parents, grandparents. Each generation in the main, does its best in its own right time. If you can't afford either the cash or the time/energy, say so now and avoid future stress

grannylyn65 Thu 26-May-16 18:56:01

Not a lot of energy or cash !!!

Grannyben Thu 26-May-16 19:40:44

Hi Victoria, my daughter also has a partner and they both work, him full time and her 2 days a week. They are both on minimum wage and they have a mortgage and all the usual expenses. I am not in a financial position to be able to help pay for nursery fees but, I am lucky in that I am able to look after my grandchild whilst she is at work. If I wasn't, and I had sufficient money, I wouldn't hesitate in helping with the fees. His parents are doing their best and I know they would help me if they were able

NotTooOld Thu 26-May-16 19:45:22

It's hard work looking after youngsters, as we all know, especially when you are older, but whether or not you offer to pay for child care instead surely depends on how well the parents are earning. If they earn good money between them then let them get on with it but if they are hard up (and you can afford it) then help them out a little. It's important to remember, though, that the costs may go up and your own need to keep your money may increase, so think carefully before making any offer of financial help - you may need the money yourself.

Newquay Thu 26-May-16 22:58:39

I think children get some free hours childcare from the age of three so it's not forever. We've helped DD1 and her husband, our lovely SIL, with childcare for years and we love it and are so grateful that we live near enough to do it.
DD2 lives 2/3 hours away. Both she and her husband (another dear SIL) have good jobs that they've both worked so long and hard to achieve and they are both well paid and so can easily afford the high nursery fees. I think if they were not so comfortably off we would do all we could to help.

Iam64 Fri 27-May-16 08:08:18

The free childcare isn't quite the help it appears. It's few hours and lunch time isn't covered. I wish the uk would follow the lead of Scandinavian countries, where high quality early years child care is seen as good for society.

Victoria08 Fri 27-May-16 08:57:23

Yes, free nursery places are offered at three years old.
My baby boy is only nine months old so a long way to go yet.
As she only works two days a week, nearly half her wages would be spent on nursery fees.

I love having him, but it's a ten hour day, and my back is bad come the evening and next day
Plus he is now starting to crawl. Forgotten just how much hard work they are. It's been 35 years since I've done all this.

I guess I will,have to go with my conscience.

Although I can afford the fees at the moment, I am beginning to have doubts after my son was shocked that I was paying out.

trisher Fri 27-May-16 09:10:07

Only you know exactly what your financial situation really is and if paying will be a big strain. As far as your son goes my experience is that siblings always think the others are getting more than they are and base their comments on this, not necessarily on what is best for you.I think you are very wise not to over commit yourself as far as child care is concerned.It is hard work and gets harder.One possibility might be to look for activities in your area for young children there are sometimes music groups or movement classes which are cheaper than nursery but which would help when you are looking after him.

harrigran Fri 27-May-16 12:28:48

It was unheard of when we had our children, I would never have expected my parents to cover childcare. I gave up my job and looked after the children myself, it meant DH had to do two jobs just for us to survive but we would not have had it any other way. I do think the younger generation should think about whether they can afford childcare before having children and not just expect the grans to cope.

Cold Fri 27-May-16 15:23:58

I agree with Iam64 that nursery costs are so high in Britain compared with Scandinavia - for example full time nursery in Sweden including all food and snacks only costs just over £100 per month for children aged 1-6 - plus parents get paid time off to be home with sick children.

However I don't think parents should expect GPs to cover costs. Perhaps if you feel up to it you could offer to act as DGC's "emmergency cover" as there are bound to be days when the little one has sniffles and colds and cannot be at nursery

gettingonabit Fri 27-May-16 19:53:28

Mmmm....childcare is so good in Scandinavia because the taxpayer stumps up for it.

I think childcare costs are quite reasonable, really. Childminders earn a pittance considering the responsibility. And nurseries are a business, with business costs.

I agree that there should be no automatic expectation on gps to look after kids. Particularly for free.

Deedaa Fri 27-May-16 21:10:09

Childcare is such a nightmare. DD has what most people would consider a good job, but a nursery 5 days a week would have taken almost all her salary. Yet if she didn't go back to work that would be her career gone and when she eventually started working again her income would be much lower. Sighs of relief all round when I said I would look after him.

Now her two are older I don't have them for so long, but we are paying preschool fees for DS's little boy because his partner suffers from depression, they are very short of money and they both need a break.

NotTooOld Fri 27-May-16 21:30:16

harrigran - good post. I agree with you. We've always told our children that we cannot take on regular childcare but are always here to help out in an emergency. School holidays seem to be 'emergencies' so we usually help out then. Neither of them have ever asked us for cash to pay for nurseries, nor would we expect them to.

annodomini Fri 27-May-16 22:04:36

I am a 'distant' granny, so childcare has never been an issue, apart from the odd day during the holidays when I've been able to stay with them. I have put my head in the noose by agreeing to stay for a week looking after two rascals, 8 and, by that time 11, in August. I'm a bit wary because I am finding walking a bit difficult and won't have my car with me. I wish they could come and stay with me instead.It's a thought...

annodomini Fri 27-May-16 22:05:23

Or rather, 'It's a thought'.

Mythbirtthedragon Sat 28-May-16 09:30:48

I had set money aside in anticipation of my children going to university/travelling etc but so far neither of them have dipped in. My daughter at 27 is now looking to go back into education - she dropped out after AS levels and had a few years of messing about before having her daughter turned her around. I've got no qualms about funding her to do this including childcare costs given I still work full time as does her dad. Who knows, when I retire I might be good for a bit of holiday cover/school pick up as long as it doesn't get in the way of my tennis.

silverlining48 Sat 28-May-16 10:04:01

The free (or rather l5 free hours per week) assistance given when children reach 3 is not as straightforward as it seems.. in this area it is divided by 5 (days a week) so my grandchildren who attend(ed) nursery twice a week only got 6 hours, term time only. It is open 364 days a year and if the children dont attend for any reason they still have to pay pay the full amount which i believe is nearly £70 per day. It is very expensive , much more so than the rest of europe where its been a given for years and not just for parents who go to work but for children to be able to socialise. in europe children usually start school at 7.

silverlining48 Sat 28-May-16 10:09:50

Regarding the original post, I feel its enough to provide childcare if you can for grandchildren, but nursery costs are high and increase regularly and if grandparents begin by paying half it would be awkward to stop and and could cause resentment. We grandparents already do much more than ours did for us, and there were no expectation that they should. Would also say that looking after a young baby is much easier on the back than when they start running around, speaking for myself i find it much harder now our grandson is 3 and very active, and he can and does, run very fast.

NotSpaghetti Sat 28-May-16 10:16:47

Childcare is more expensive here because we pay too little tax to fund most public services properly, in my opinion. This doesn't mean grandparents should foot the bill directly though.

If you have to choose to follow a career or stay at home with children there are always going to be sacrifices. If someone is paying half their wages in childcare it does at least mean that they take half home, unlike my friend years ago who had childcare costs which left her a few pence in defecit at the end of the working week! She thought it was worth it though to 'keep her hand in' and was lucky to survive for two years with just her husband's meagre income.

I don't think I would suggest paying childcare. If money is tight, do what my parents did for us - pay for some decent shoes now and again, cover fuel/travel costs if visiting from a distance etc. These little bonuses mean that families on low incomes have lovely 'breathers' in the hard work of day to day living. These practical 'treats' we're really great - gifts of love and recognition, it felt, of the efforts we were making to bring up our little family on a very modest income.

nightowl Sat 28-May-16 10:33:18

I think I must have lived in a different world to some posters as my mum looked after my children while I worked and this was a common practice in our family network, so I don't see this as a new phenomenon or as particularly unreasonable. We still give as much of time and money as we can afford and choose to do, and it works for us. It never occurred to me that we wouldn't look after our grandchildren if we were needed and if we were well enough, which thankfully we have been so far. That said, I think grown up children have to recognise that our health may be declining and our incomes may be reducing at this stage of our lives and while we like to give, we are perhaps not as well off as they think we are.

grannyactivist Sat 28-May-16 10:34:11

When my children were little my parents in law sent us money every month towards childcare costs as we were very hard up. I kept a record and some years later we were able to 'gift' them back the money they'd given. They didn't want or expect it, but were about to get a bridging loan at the time as they were buying a new house and it came in very handy.

Victoria08 if you can afford it and want to do it then do so. Maybe you could make your offer a 'limited time only' deal if you fear your circumstances may change and you can't afford to continue in the future.

K8tie Sat 28-May-16 11:01:35

In France too my son was paying 90 euros per month + a little extra for delicious 3 course lunches per little one till main school kicked in. I think it started at 8:30am and children could have their tea and then be picked up by parents after work. I really do think that our young mothers have it really hard. My daughter and her friends work really hard and only just manage to cover expenses. And I do think we pay enough tax to cover these early years . . . the main issue is what that hard-earned money/tax is spent on. The amount of useless spending continues to be and always has been atrocious!