Grandparents that care for their grandchildren are saving families nearly £4,000 a year, a survey suggests.
Research by the Bank of Scotland found that coronavirus has made parents realise how much they relied on grandparents for childcare before the pandemic.
More than 40 per cent of families surveyed said they depended on grandparents for childcare.
In the UK, professional childcare costs an average of just over £8 an hour, the study found.
Meanwhile, grandparents who offer childcare spend roughly nine hours a week doing so, which amounts to offering £3,770-worth of care throughout the year.
Because those over the age of 70 are categorised as vulnerable with regards to coronavirus, many grandparents have not been able to see their grandchildren for months.
Despite that, nearly half of the grandparents surveyed (46 per cent) said that they expected to carry out their usual school holiday childcare duties during the pandemic.
Tara Foley, managing director at the Bank of Scotland, said: “For many parents, the challenge of conflicting work and childcare commitments continues this summer, with some facing difficult decisions around who is best to take care of their children.
“Whilst some parents remain worried about asking loved ones for support during the ongoing pandemic, not all families can rely on holiday clubs and professional childcare.
“These will likely be a stretch too far for some budgets where paying for additional childcare wasn’t part of the plan.”