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2 million grandparents give up work to help with childcare

mums over 40

In a study released yesterday it was found that almost 2 million grandparents give up work to help with the care of their grandchildren.

Grandparents give up work

The survey of more than 2,000 individuals – conducted by Ipsos Mori for Grandparents Plus, Save the Children and The Family and Childcare Trust – found that 1 in 7 grandparents have given up their jobs or significantly cut back their hours specifically due to grandchildren.

Lack of affordable childcare

This study is receiving a particularly large amount of attention as it’s thought to intensify the debate over how we support working mothers. Pressure groups have been asking for greater childcare subsidies, and those who support stay-at-home parents say the government should be helping married couples to pay for their children. However, the survey found that only 17% – less than 1 million – of grandparents who care for their grandkids do so due to a lack of affordable childcare. Instead, 2.3 million – 4 in 10 – said they help out so that their children can work.grandparents give up work, Grandparents with grandkids

Pressure for financial support

Arguably, one of the most disheartening parts of this study is that 1 in 8 grandparents actually feel pressured to provide financial support. One third of grandparents spend £500 on their grandchildren per year, and 1 in 8 spend over £1,000 per year. Together, it is thought grandparents provide £8 billion (yes, billion with a ‘B’) in support every year. This is possibly one of the biggest reasons why more than 400,000 grandparents have reduced the amount of money they’re putting in their pensions.

However, the report also states that few grandparents expect anything in return for their support.

“This is generation generosity. In addition to the care they provide, grandparents are making huge financial contributions to support their grandchildren,” Sam Smethers, of Grandparents Plus.

“It suggests we need to re-think working requirements for the ageing population, who are being expected to work longer and care more for grandchildren.”


Although, another recent survey suggests that children should not expect large inheritances from their parents. Andrew Barker, from Skipton Financial Services, who supported the survey, said: “Traditionally, your financial wealth and assets would be inherited by your children. But it seems this is becoming a thing of the past as people want to use the would-be inheritance fund to enjoy their own retirement, or even because they feel their children have already had their fair share.”



About Siobhan Harmer

About Siobhan Harmer

Siobhan Harmer is an English Freelance writer who drinks far too much coffee!!

Website: Siobhan Harmer

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