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Have you been asked to look after your grandchildren now the schools are closed?

(55 Posts)
LaraGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 19-Mar-20 09:48:24

We've been asked to speak on radio this morning on how the school closures will affect grandparents. We know there is a similar thread already on this but we wanted to know if you have been asked to care for your grandchildren, how you feel about it, what your response has been, and how your family are managing? Thank you smile

DoraMarr Thu 19-Mar-20 10:25:37

No. I’ve offered, but both daughters have refused, for my sake. I am over 70 and have well- controlled asthma. One daughter is on maternity leave, and the other is working from home as far as possible, and so is her partner, so they will share childcare. They can do some work in the evening when their daughter has gone to bed. My other daughter is still in Sri Lanka on an extended stay, so I’m quite worried about her and her little family.

lemongrove Thu 19-Mar-20 10:29:03

No, they wouldn’t ask anyway, in the circumstances, however the DGC all fall into the category of children continuing to attend school.

Sunlover Thu 19-Mar-20 11:14:26

My children are putting our health first and are making other arrangements. Heartbreaking not to see my 4 grandkids but it’s for the best. Lots of photos, videos and phone calls.

Labaik Thu 19-Mar-20 11:23:17

No; daughter phoned me last week and told me that they were stopping all social contact with me on the advice of a doctor. I then told my son I would not be able to look after his children if schools closed which he understood. And a much looked forward to family holiday has been cancelled.

gillybob Thu 19-Mar-20 11:26:59

I will be looking after my 4 grandchildren as usual. My DS and DD both work in the private sector and have no choice but to carry on working (assuming they still have jobs that is). This announcement that the children of "key workers" can still go to school is going to cause a huge amount of division and is though the education of these children is far more important than the others.

gillybob Thu 19-Mar-20 11:27:49

I will continue to look after my elderly father too.

Greenfinch Thu 19-Mar-20 11:36:04

gillybob I don't think they will be get any better education. They will be doing the same set work as the children at home. In fact they will be in a more precarious situation because they potentially could infect each other and take the virus home.

Bopeep14 Thu 19-Mar-20 11:38:55

I am still looking after my grandson full time as usual, and i will still continue to look after my elderly mother.

My school age grandchildren’s parents are working with other parents to look after children, but there may come a time when i will have to look after them.

I see the need for shutting schools but i think its a bit shortsighted to think grandparents are not going to be asked to look after grandchildren at some stage, in the coming months.

gillybob Thu 19-Mar-20 11:38:57

My point is that they will be getting an education whereas the children of non key workers will not. How can the average parent or grandparent be expected to teach a child history, biology or whatever specialist subject?

Labaik Thu 19-Mar-20 11:58:35

The children of key workers are allowed to go to school so their parents can help save lives. They are not doing so to give one sector of society a better education. Do we really want to make it a 'level playing field' so that nurses and doctors can't get to work? And guidelines I've read regarding younger children are to 'read books; play games; talk to each other'.

Greenfinch Thu 19-Mar-20 12:10:27

You are missing the point gillybob.As I said above they will be doing the same online work as the others. That is how I understand it anyway.

gillybob Thu 19-Mar-20 12:15:11

I live in a very deprived area of the country Greenfinch and it is wrong to assume that all children will be able to work on line. Families will be worrying where their next meal is coming from not whether they can pay their internet provider.

Callistemon Thu 19-Mar-20 12:16:18

The children of non-keyworkers should be doing the same work at home gillybob under the supervision of the carer.
I'm not sure what you think should happen. Should schools remain open for all?

We have a situation where some family are key workers and the children will be going to school. They are medical staff and laboratory staff involved in testing. They are frontline in this fight and need to know their children are being cared for.
We also have teachers and other school staff in the family who will need to go into school and put themselves at risk caring for the children of key staff and those who need school meals, if they have someone at home to care for their own children.

Labaik Thu 19-Mar-20 12:16:29

I am extremely concerned about the backlash aimed at teachers at the moment, as if they have become some sort of scapegoat for what is happening. Which is a consequence of the challenge we are facing but not one that I would have expected.

Callistemon Thu 19-Mar-20 12:21:15

Me neither, Laibak

Who is going to be going into school to care for these children? Teachers.
I doubt that lessons will continue as normal as they will be expected to look after mixed age groups.
They are working frantically at the moment to ensure that children at home will be able to access at least some lessons.

GrannyGravy13 Thu 19-Mar-20 13:03:06

I think that schools are going to be more like state run child minding as opposed to normal schooling.

We have to support our front line service providers'at this time, they are trying to save lives and keep us safe.

Callistemon Thu 19-Mar-20 13:24:54

The average parent will not be expected to teach their children history, biology or any other specialist subject and no-one is expecting them to. Teachers and other school staff are working flat out to organise this because they feel a sense of responsibility and duty towards their pupils. Older pupils will be able to work by themselves anyway.
Parents and other carers can, however, read to their younger children, access the lessons that the BBC plans to broadcast and talk to them.

grannysyb Thu 19-Mar-20 13:27:37

I heard a teacher on Radio 4 saying what Granny Gravy said so these children will just be minded and not made to do lessons.

Lona Thu 19-Mar-20 13:32:27

I will be helping my son with childcare as usual. He is co-parenting and in a very precarious financial situation. He is also a type 1 diabetic and therefore vulnerable.
Yes, it may put me at risk too, but I’m his mother and I cannot see him struggle alone.

kissngate Thu 19-Mar-20 14:01:14

We've volunteered to look after our two gc. DD and partner both have to work in private sector and nursery is closing tomorrow so they are very grateful we are willing to do it. I've had pneumonia twice and oh has high bp and diabetes but there is no one else to help out.

Curlywhirly Thu 19-Mar-20 14:17:34

I fully expect our son to ask us to help out; we are early 60s and I am fit, very active, with no health issue. My husband did have a heart problem, but is fine now, although he does take medication (he is waiting for a call from the Dr to confirm whether he is classed as vulnerable or not, but other than that he is fit and active). If all is well, we will be looking after the GC. If they are isolated too, I can't see a problem; both parents are now working from home, so the whole family will have little contact with others.

Gingster Thu 19-Mar-20 14:29:02

M Y DIL is a teacher and will be at home with her two girls aged 10 and 13. They have already been to the shops to buy journals, work books and creative materials. She is in the fortunate position of not having to work as my son has a good job and they have the money to buy these items. She is working out a timetable so the girls can continue their education. My daughter, on the other hand has twin boys of nearly 14 and a little girl of 4. She has little money and does cleaning to earn a bit more. Her partner will not be able to work and won’t get any pay. Everything she has goes on the children. We help out with uniforms, food etc. I can’t imagine 5he boys getting down to too much home work, so their education will suffer. Two different outcomes In One family.

Yiayia4 Thu 19-Mar-20 14:48:03

My no 2 DGS has been home since Tuesday,only found out last night, my son does not want to put us at risk.
My friend is a teacher and has offered to go in and look after the children of key workers,a very kind gesture on her part.

Iam64 Thu 19-Mar-20 15:08:28

Our daughters contacted us over a week ago to say they'd manage without us having their four young children once a week as we have for the past 5 years. I'm in a high risk category and we're both over 70. It's tough not to have the regular contact with them all but we have to be responsible.

The suggestion that those in the private sector are being short changed whilst the children of key workers continue to be properly educated is just wrong. Some key workers are also employed in the private sector, drivers for example. The attempt to keep schools open is in order to provide child care so the parents in key roles can go to work and keep the country functioning where ever possible.