Grandparents saving parents over £12.5 billion a year in childcare

More grandparents are looking after their grandchildren, saving parents billions of pounds a year, says new study

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Grandparents across the UK have increased their childcare duties over the last 12 months, saving parents thousands of pounds a year in childcare costs, reports Easier.

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Over 7.5 million grandparents look after their grandchildren on a regular basis.  On average, they spend over nine hours a week looking after their grandkids, saving some families up to £1,650 a year in childcare costs – almost £800 more than the previous year.

The amount of time they spend with grandkids has almost doubled from 2009, where the average was five hours a week, says the study by the over-50s insurance provider RIAS.

Welsh grandparents tend to average 13 hours a week looking after their grandchildren.  They also contribute more money to their grandkids than any other region in the UK, saving families an average of £2,175 a year in childcare costs.

The report also shows a major increase in grandparent duties over the last year, particularly in light of the recent Government spending cuts proposal.

“Over the last year we’ve seen a staggering increase in the amount of help grandparents are giving – with one third of grandparents agreeing that they have personally had to increase the amount of childcare they provide over the last 12 months. We know that this could be due to parents having to return to work to ease financial pressures, as well as many parents having to work longer hours. And it’s likely that this trend will continue if the child benefit policy changes are upheld. From holiday childcare to ad-hoc favours like picking up children from school or looking after them when they’re ill, today’s grandparents are saving families time and money, as well as making life easier,” said Janet Connor, Managing Director at RIAS.

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Over 40% of those surveyed said they financially contribute to their grandkids, with the monthly average being £90.  However, nearly 30% admit they have had to put off leisure and holiday activities because of their childcare duties.

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