It’s no secret that being around our grandkids is one of the most fulfilling and happiest times of our lives, but should grandparents be paid to babysit? Well, one grandmother, 69, has revealed her daughter-in-law wants to pay her for her babysitting efforts, admitting “I really can’t accept this from her”.
Taking to the online forum she wrote: “My DIL (daughter-in-law) has a new baby and a four-year-old. She has accepted my offer of helping out during the school summer break.
“Her suggestion is three days per week at four hours a day. She wants to pay me £5 (A$9, US$6) per hour. I really can’t accept this from her. I am so glad that she has accepted my offer to help as [she] gets very anxious on these three days my son is working. What rate would you suggest.
She said they were going to hire at nanny at £19 per hour “in her desperation, which they can’t afford”. But, “is adamant that she wants to pay me child minding rate. My husband is happy for me to help, but concerned that at 69 and the hour journey each way justifies his reasoning that I should be paid.”
Readers replied with their own experiences, with many agreeing “it just seems wrong” to get paid. “I couldn’t accept any money for looking after my own grandchildren, which I have done for over 12 years now. It just seems wrong. I have three of them (soon to be four) overnights all year round to fit in with my DIL’s shifts,” one commentator wrote.
However, another added that considering the distance maybe she should take up the offer: “I get the impression you are uncomfortable about taking money off your son and daughter-in-law and I understand this feeling. However, an hour each way will eat up a lot of petrol and I certainly think they should pay this.”
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.
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.