Childcare costs are driving Australian families to breaking point. Now many parents are turning to their parents for childcare assistance, in a bid to save much needed time and money.
Australian grandparents are contributing the equivalent of $3.94 billion annually in childcare costs, by caring for their grandchildren, according to the survey of 1000 people conducted by comparison site Mozo.
“Childcare costs are a major financial strain for many families with some care centres exceeding $180 per day in metropolitan areas. As the cost of living continues to rise and wage growth stagnates, it’s little wonder that many parents are turning to their parents as a childcare solution,” says Kirsty Lamont, Mozo Director.
One in five grandchildren now receive some form of care from the grandparents. The typical amount of childcare provided by grandparents is 30 hours a month, saving their families about $267 a month in childcare fees. But some grandparents are doing much more, pushing up the average to 58 hours a month, equivalent to $517 in childcare costs.
“When you look at the sheer magnitude of contribution from grandparents, it indicates that for some families, the cost of childcare is tipping finances over the edge,” Lamont said. “Each month, grandparents across Australia contribute the equivalent of $328 million in childcare costs.”
According to the study, 98 per cent of grandparents charge no money for the care of their grandchildren, and nearly seven in 10 grandparents provide care to offer financial relief or more time to parents.
Of the grandparents caring for grandchildren, 40 per cent are still working while 30 per cent are retired. Nearly 30 per cent told the survey they were happy to care for their grandchildren, while five per cent felt either obliged or exhausted about the care.
However, majority (70 per cent), stated they were happy to care for their grandchildren.
For grandparents, it can be a pleasure and a privilege to spend more time with grandchildren, while also offering a helping hand to their families as they juggle work and home life.
And a 2017 study found that grandparents who regularly look after their grandkids live up to five years longer than those who don’t.
The groundbreaking research is the first to ever look into this link and it just proves what many grandparents already know: grandkids make you’re life better! Not only do these grandparents live longer, they’re also healthier, happier and more independent as they age.