grandparents

grandparents

This equates to an average of £11 billion each year in childcare ‘wages’, as 5.8 million grandparents in the UK regularly provide childcare for their grandchildren.

The ‘21st Century Grandparenting’ report, now in its fourth year, also revealed that on average, grandparents now spend 10 hours every week looking after their grandchildren with virtually none of the grandparents who provide regular childcare receiving any formal payment for their time.

Grandparents vital to economy

This annual saving of £1,888 for families by grandparents equates to over a half more than the yearly £1,056 Child Benefit payment currently received for one child (£20.30 per week). The ongoing support from grandparents is vital for families, especially in this uncertain financial climate.

I’m a very proud grandmother and love spending time with my grandchildren. I do it because I love it, but I also know that Sophie (Ellis-Bextor) really appreciates all the help and time I can give...

One third of grandparents think that the amount of childcare they provide has increased since last year due to the economic climate. The major factors for this rise include parents working longer hours, parents having to return to work due to the economic climate, and increasingly expensive formal childcare costs, once again highlighting the important role of a grandparent in 2012.

Peter Corfield, Managing Director at RIAS, said: “The unstable financial climate and the rise in childcare costs has meant more and more parents have to return to work earlier than they have had to in previous years and grandparents are providing a fundamental benefit to UK families.

"With the cost of childcare rising by 5.8 per cent this year, grandparents in the UK have continued to offer support in 2012. If we were to pay UK grandparents for the childcare they provide it would equate to £11 billion each year, which shows the massive contribution grandparents are giving every day," he said. 

Grandparents generous with cash as well as time

As well as providing informal childcare for their grandchildren, UK grandparents are also helping their children to pay for formal childcare, including nurseries and childminders. On average, grandparents are contributing a huge £407 each year.

Grandparents face an average monthly bill of £135 in other costs for their grandchildren – which equates to an enormous £1,620 each year per grandchild. These contributions include £324 towards holidays and £312 towards ‘one off’ large gifts such as laptops and driving lessons, per grandchild.

Broadcaster and grandparent, Janet Ellis, said: “I’m a very proud grandmother and love spending time with my grandchildren. I do it because I love it, but I also know that Sophie (Ellis-Bextor) really appreciates all the help and time I can give to her three boys. This report from RIAS really shows that millions of grandparents will do anything to help out when their families need them.”

For more information about the full range of products RIAS offers, customers can visit www.rias.co.uk.

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