They’re the unsung heroes of childcare, the people who help you out and are as invested in your child’s wellbeing as you are.
But with research showing that grandparents save Australian families $2.29 billion each year in childcare costs, should they be paid?
According to analysis by finder.com.au, families who choose to have a grandparent care for their child for just two days a week could save $6344 a year.
If they have three children, they could be looking at an annual saving of almost $20,000.
While many grandparents simply love being involved in their grandchild’s life, parents are realising the impact of their efforts – with 45 per cent saying they should be paid for babysitting.
Almost a third said grandparents should be paid if babysitting is a regular arrangement, while one in 10 said grandparents should be paid regardless of length of time or how often.
While 21 per cent said they should not be paid, 34 per cent said they looked after their parents in other ways.
With the high costs of childcare impacting families, many value another pair of hands in the form of grandparents.
Bessie Hassan from finder.com.au pointed out there are other benefits too.
‘There are some life lessons that only grandparents can teach us and they often have fewer commitments to juggle, so it can be a very special relationship.
Hopefully the grandparents get something out of it too,’ she says.
Whether or not money changes hands, both parents and grandparents need to consider all the factors before entering into a care arrangement.
A shared understanding of managing the child’s behaviour and discipline methods, as well as what will be fed and what routine will be followed, is important in deciding if this option is for you.
For more see this weeks issue of New Idea, on sale now!