Research from comparison site Gocompare.com has found that rather than being paid for the service they provide, grandparents are having to spend an average of around £380a year while looking after their grandchildren. The survey of 1,000 grandparents showed that just under a third (31%) are spending between £5 and £10 on their grandkids every day that they look after them, and nearly a fifth (18%) fork out between £10 and £15.
It’s not surprising, then, that almost one in ten (9%) grandparents feel that looking after their grandchildren costs them a small fortune.
Gocompare.com’s research revealed what grandparents splash the cash on when they are looking after their grandchildren:
– 72% forked out on treats;
– 71% spent on food;
– 38% splashed out on activities for the children;
– 38% bought books and toys;
– 30% paid for transport costs;
– 22% treated their grandchildren to new clothes.
Despite spending a small fortune on their grandchildren, 63% of grandparents aren’t offered a penny for the childcare they provide, and only 3% said that their children pay them a set hourly amount, with the average they were paid being just £3.05 per hour. And with the typical weekly charge for a child-minder currently standing at £96.67 for a child over two years old, it’s clear that the nation’s grandparents are providing a valuable service to working families.
And while 22% of the grandparents quizzed said that looking after their grandchildren is hard work but they feel obliged to do it to help their children, nearly three quarters (72%) said they enjoy looking after their grandkids.
Gocompare.com’s customer insight manager, Claire Peate, said: “Grandparents are a vital support system for any working family, and I think we forget how much they shell out every day while looking after our children.
“And with the majority offering their childcare services for free, it’s understandable that over a quarter of grandparents (26%) said that the state pension should be increased for pensioners who also act as child-minders.
“Just offering your parents a few pounds towards the cost of looking after your children could make a massive difference to them, as money is tight for everyone at the moment – grandparents included.”