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Our latest research finds that one in six has quit their job to look after their grandchildren.
To mark National Grandparents’ Day on Sunday 1 October, we have released new figures on the provision of childcare by grandparents, which is estimated to save parents in the UK an estimated £16 billion per year.
The new survey of just under 1,000 grandparents (all with grandchildren aged 11 and under) found that one in six (15%) respondents has taken early retirement or quit paid employment in order to help out with their grandchildren. Of those:
A third describe quitting work for childcare as the new norm for their generation. But when asked whether or not grandparents should be paid for regular childcare, two thirds (67%) said "no, not at all".
Grandparents are also supplementing some of the costs of raising a family for parents, by paying for some of the basics for their grandchildren:
Survey respondents, with an average age of 62, look after two grandchildren 2.4 times per week, on average. They describe the best things about providing childcare for their children as:
Nearly two thirds (63%) describe the arrangement as “an amazing chance to spend time with my grandchildren”. 47% say that it’s a big commitment, but they’re happy to do it. And 41% say that looking after their grandchildren keeps them fit.
Gransnet Editor Lara Crisp said, "Our survey proves how integral UK grandparents are in providing childcare so that parents are able to return to work, even if in some circumstances this means sacrificing their own financial security. With alternative childcare options still so expensive, for some families this is the only option. And of course the opportunity to spend quality time with the grandchildren is something few grandparents would willingly miss out on."
Read the full survey results here.
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