When grandparenting becomes work, should you be paid for it? 146



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With the ever increasing amount of parents turning to their own parents to take on the role of carer for their children when they return to the workforce, there has been talk of the Abbott government adopting a new plan that would see grandparents paid in a similar way to a daycare centre.

To be eligible for the funding they would need to hold the same qualifications as those working in a registered day care centre, such as Certificate 3 in Early Childcare Education and then, according to a report from the Productivity Commission, parents would be able to direct their government benefits to go to their choice of provider, namely their own parents.

Daycare centres are expensive, and in some areas getting a child enrolled into one can be a challenge in itself with waiting lists years long, so many new parents are looking to their own parents for assistance.

At the current time almost a million children in Australia are receiving regular care from their grandparents while their own parents work full time hours. For the parents, this is a better alternative to day care centres, which can see almost their entire pay checks eaten up in fees.

Many grandparents love taking on this role, even if it means giving up their regular lives or chosen careers, building strong lifetime relationships with their grandchildren as their own children return to work feeling completely confident that their babies are getting the best of care.

It has also been suggested that as well as the children benefiting from this arrangement, the grandparents can also get some added health benefits with a recent study from the University of Melbourne indicating that post-menopausal women had a better memory and cognitive speed, which could ward off certain ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

In the 2015 Budget the government has pledged more support in regard to childcare options with the aim of making it ‘simpler, more affordable, accessible and flexible’.

The Productivity Commission states that there are more than 165,000 parents looking to either work, or work longer hours, but are unable to do so due to the unavailability of affordable quality day care, something that would be cancelled out if grandparent care became a viable option.

However at this point, there is no indication that the Abbott Government has taken much of the Productivity Commission’s report into consideration.

What do you think? Do you currently care for your grandchildren? Should grandparents get paid benefits for caring for the grandchildren?

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  1. Yes that would definitely help financially, at the moment caring for grandchildren is not even considered as voluntary work. Grandparents need some recognition for the great job they do to assist so parents can work.

  2. Looking after my grandchildren is something I’d do for love, not for recognition or to make money off them, looking after them is your choice, no one makes you do it, I just don’t see my grandchildren as a way to make money.

  3. Yes definitely I have looked after 3 of mine over the years now just on school holidays.
    We as grandparents teach them play with them and give them a lot of love. We do this for love but
    When looking after them we quite often spend money taking them out to different places which is art of learning and this does cost so a little help would be great.

    11 REPLY
    • Unfortunately, sometimes our Children don’t think of the cost. I think that they are the ones that need to contribute.

    • Everybody is looking for handouts. How many more parasites does this society need. Family helps family, why should the tax payers fund this. I don’t look for handouts, I do my part gladly

    • Again if you cannot afford to take them places the parents should be picking up the tab not the govt. there are plenty of free places you can take them to. The park for instance. It’s fun and it’s free and you can all play together

    • I actually read this that the parents should be paying their parents to look after their kids, did not think it was the government.

    • No it is the govt, it is called benefits. You would have to have a blue card I would imagine to get it. I think in the case where the grandparent looks after them full time they would already be getting child endowment anyway.

    • I have been doing this also and I love it always offering and will always take them whenever I can. I just feel that if people who are earning good money and I mean really good money can have child care subsidised it would not hurt for the grandparents who are only on a pension to be subsidised even a small amount would help.

    • No i dont only in special curcumstances . I love helping my daughter out over the holidays or when they are sick or when they want a sleep over . You do with them what you can afford other wise their parents help out . I find with mine they love hanging around doing fun things which cost nothing .

    • It should never be about money its called love thats what family is all about .One thing i dont like when kids use their parents .

  4. I don’t think so! It isn’t always easy however you do it for the Grandchildren. We have been looking after our Grandchildren for 13 years. That’s what you do. As long as you aren’t taken for granted and your children appreciate you.

  5. I don’t think it is a way “to make money”.
    I believe it is a case of helping them financially with things like extra food, higher power and water bills, cost of running a car to take the children out, cost of going to movies or out to parks for a picnic .
    Most grandparents would be on an age pension which is hard enough to live on without adding more costs to your weekly bills.
    I love looking after my grand daughter have found I have had to give up some things I enjoy. Things like weekly magazines or buying books to read. That money now goes to doing things with my grand daughter. I also don’t go out to lunches or even morning tea with friends anymore. I am happy to go without these things but would love a few extra dollars to help with the costs.

    6 REPLY
    • Christine O’Shea
      Where in my comment did I say that.
      You really need to keep your nasty comments to yourself.
      You go out of your way to be abusive to people you don’t like even though you don’t know them.
      You don’t even read the post properly. You just see the name of the person who has posted it and then make a nasty snide remark just for the hell if it.
      You are what the dictionary describes as a troll.
      Someone who makes comments for the sole purpose of causing controversy.

    • This is an interesting and friendly discussion of views Christine O’Shea. Comments like that make you sound arrogant and rude. As a parent if you didn’t have a grandparent to mind your children you would have to pay so why disrespect the grandparents by assuming their time and contribution in the bring up of the grandchildren while their parents are out earning good dollars have no monetary value.

    • Ruth and Wanda, I can’t see how my comment is arrogant or rude. It is a straight forward comment! Also Ruth I am permitted just as you are to make a comment on here . Just because our opinions differ and you don’t happen to agree doesn’t mean you are always right. How do you get “nasty, snide remark” out of my simple comment. Also isn’t “causing controversy ” only a difference of opinions and FB is all about debating. It would be boring if everyone agreed on all topics. It sounds like you are the abusive and rude one with the personal name calling— I haven’t used any of your language. A bit touchy, I think!

    • Thank heavens I still have Christine O’Shea blocked , she would have to be one of the nastiest Liberal trolls.. sorry Ruth you had to deal with that

    • I think Ruth and Wanda are both right, this is about Grandchildren and we all do the best we can with the little funds many of us have and you can bet the one thing everyone has in common is the love they have for their grandchildren. Snide and nasty comments are not appropriate

  6. Having your grandchildren for a sleep over during the weekend or school holidays is what Grandparents do, these are the times that grandchildren look forward to but when parents are working and earning money for their labour then it is only fair that they contribute towards the care of their children. My mother looked after my son when he was little while I worked and I wouldn’t have dreamed of not paying her. I got paid because she made child care safe and easy for me so she deserves payment as well. This has nothing to do with a grandparents love but everything to do with the respect and appreciation of the parent.

    3 REPLY
    • Absolutely right Wanda! My mother also babysat first child while I worked and I paid her the going rate. She was only in her 40s. I have been judged to be selfish because I didn’t babysit when I had a year off work at 62 (no mention of payment).

    • I think Robyn if you look after your grand-kids then your child should pay you and not EXPECT it for nothing just because you have time off. I think you would have earned that right.

  7. I look after my grandchildren because I love them and they are great company, no amount of money will replace a little pair of arms around my neck saying I love you nan.

  8. I minded all of mine and I think it was a joy and a privilege. I did not need to be paid and cost tax payers more money. I would rather have done that to having coffee with friends. If they wanted coffee they could bring their grandchildren and have a play date instead.

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