Parents saving £3,800 a year by using grandparents for childcare, survey reveals

Two-fifths of families are supported by the older generation (Getty Images)
Two-fifths of families are supported by the older generation. (Getty Images)

The coronavirus lockdown has seen many parents forced to juggle looking after their kids with working from home – and unable to call on grandparents for help.

Indeed, pre-pandemic many families had been saving thousands of pounds a year thanks to childcare support from the older generation.

According to a survey, grandparents have been enabling mums and dads to avoid shelling out almost £4,000 annually by stepping in to look after their grandkids.

The research, conducted by the Bank of Scotland, discovered that – with professional childcare in the UK costing an average of £8-an-hour – parents are holding on to an extra £3,370 thanks to the goodwill of more senior relatives.

Read more: A third of young people 'struggling' to emotionally support partners during lockdown

Indeed, more than 40% of families are supported in this way by grandparents – who spare around nine hours of their time a week.

The survey also highlighted that parents have realised, as a result of lockdown, just how much they rely on them.

In late March, the government advised those over 70 to shield, and therefore refrain from seeing grandchildren.

However, almost half – or 46% – of the grandparents surveyed said they were still prepared, amid the pandemic, to help with childcare during the school holidays.

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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.”

It comes as it was revealed that young couples have been particularly struggling during the pandemic.

More than a third of partners aged between 16 to 34 said they’ve found it difficult to emotionally support their other halves during lockdown.

One in four expressed concern, in a survey, about whether or not their relationship would survive when normalcy returned.