Gransnet forums

Site stuff

Are you reluctant to re-start childcare for GCs? GNHQ needs your help...

(12 Posts)

GNHQ have commented on this thread. Read here.

RowanGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 14-Apr-21 15:43:00


Introducing myself to many of you for the first time - I'm Rowan (more usually known as RowanMumsnet over on the Other Side) and I work on the communications and campaigns team for Gransnet and Mumsnet.

Many of you recently took a survey for us telling us a bit more about how the COVID pandemic has affected your lives, and particularly your choices around doing regular childcare for your grandchildren. We'll be publishing the results tomorrow.

Woman's Hour on Radio 4 is going to be doing an item on Friday about grans (or grandads) who did regular childcare pre-COVID, but who now are either returning to childcare somewhat reluctantly (perhaps because you know your children will struggle if you don't), or who have decided to make the break completely and stop altogether.

Maybe a break from childcare under the first lockdown made you realise how much it had been taking out of you; maybe your health has changed over the past year; maybe your child's circumstances have changed and they don't need your help any more.

If any of this sounds like you, Woman's Hour would really like to talk to you about possibly taking part in the programme on Friday.

If you'd be interested in taking part, we'd be really grateful if you could contact us so we can give you more details. You won't be committing yourself to anything at this stage, promise!

If you'd like to find out more please do drop me an email on [email protected] and we'll tell you more.

Thank you so much.

ElaineI Wed 14-Apr-21 18:49:09

DH had a stroke in February so we have not done any since then. I miss it and miss the exercise as he is only having short walks and I am mostly doing all the other household chores that he used to help with. We/I will need to restart some after the holidays as the extra for DD2 has cost £460 per month for a 3yo and she cannot afford that. DD1 other grandparents have been doing our share as well as their own and the other GF has Parkinsons and slight dementia associated so they are tired. I will be able to work round the hours. DD1 is a teacher so during lockdowns her children (7 and 4) were at home with her all doing home schooling so did not have to childmind them. It's all very complex but we were lucky to actually see our grandchildren unlike many grandparents. DD2 (single parent) moved in with us as lockdown 1 was being announced as her childminder had to stop so we did 4 days a week - mostly enjoyable and sunny with long walks locally. Childminder has only recently started back with all her children so what are parents to do? Now they also have zero tolerance for colds! so if a child has a runny nose etc they have to stay at home!

Iam64 Wed 14-Apr-21 20:06:03

We did one day every week for four grandchildren under six- children of our adult children
I was told to shield as clinically extremely vulnerable. No childcare but also scarcely any contact with our grandchildren, or their parents. Such a loss on every level
We have now both had two vaccines. We are seeing our loved ones. Tomorrow two of our grandchildren aged 3 and 6 will be here whilst their parents work.
Exciting, scary and I’m sure tiring
The cost of child care is such a huge proportion of income. Grandparents are an invisible unpaid essential army.

oliversnana Wed 14-Apr-21 21:16:54

Have helped with all my 5 GC from birth and have continued where possible all through this.

RowanGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 15-Apr-21 09:21:56

'The cost of child care is such a huge proportion of income. Grandparents are an invisible unpaid essential army.' - yes absolutely @Iam64 - we see this on Mumsnet all the time. Glad to hear things are getting back to normal for you all.

maddyone Thu 15-Apr-21 10:18:00

We have done childcare since the childcare bubbles were allowed. I had Covid but I didn’t get it from the children or their parents. I got it via my elderly mother who had been hospitalised due to a fall. She picked up Covid in the hospital (we were assured she was Covid free having had two negative tests, and had no need to isolate but in fact she had contracted Covid in the hospital) and as we were in a support bubble with her, I unfortunately picked it up from her.

maydonoz Thu 15-Apr-21 15:28:34

Pre Covid we (DH and I) have cared for our first grandchild from 1 yr old, three days weekly. She is now three and half and attends nursery.
During the first lockdown last year we were unable to do childcare, but since it was allowed we've been continuing to provide childcare. Now we care for our younger grandchild also three days a week, and the older child after nursery. Quite often DH collects her from nursery.
Our support is very much appreciated by our DS and family and of course we enjoy having the DGC with us, eventhough it's tiring.
We're both in our early seventies, so we'll continue as long as we're up to it.

hulahoop Thu 15-Apr-21 15:55:06

We looked after my dd daughter one day a week until she went to school now we have her brother once every fortnight didn't have them first lockdown at all missed them a lot of local parents are struggling with no after school clubs .

Iam64 Thu 15-Apr-21 18:19:05

Lockdown has been tough for everyone, especially the most recent one. It’s been tougher on mother’s, who still carry the major responsibility for the practical and emotional welfare of the family. So many mothers WFH whilst home schooling and without the support grandparents/after school clubs etc usually provide.

ElaineI Thu 15-Apr-21 19:22:11

As schools and early learning centres return to having children back grandparents will inevitably be called on for children who are not allowed to go to school with snotty noses etc. I have had such fun with my grandchildren though and I feel they keep me fit.

Shelflife Fri 16-Apr-21 00:20:21

My first post on Gransnet, hi everyone ! My grandchildren range from 18 down to 3 years of age . I have taken care of them one day each week since my eldest was small. . My youngest daughter has two girls age 3 and 6. Since the pandemic I have not taken care of the youngest. During this time I have wondered if I should continue with Grandma duty. I am not getting any younger! I know it won’t be long before she starts school and feel a little guilty if I stop my one day a week childcare. Love them dearly and I know my daughter loves her little one having time with me. A difficult dilemma!

RowanGransnet (GNHQ) Fri 16-Apr-21 10:14:27

Hi Shelflife - congratulations on your first post! smile

Yours sounds like the sort of dilemma Woman's Hour is interested in covering, so if you'd be up for talking about it publicly at all we'd love to hear from you - you can email me on [email protected]

If you'd rather not that's fine, of course!