With so many families needing care for their children, many are looking within their own families to solve the childcare problem.
Grandparents are being called on by busy parents because of a lack of available places in traditional daycare
Grandparents are being called on by busy parents because of a lack of available places in traditional daycare centres.A survey commissioned by the Australian Seniors Insurance Agency has found grandparents are caring for each of their grandchildren for an average 16 hours each week.
A survey commissioned by the Australian Seniors Insurance Agency has found grandparents are caring for each of their grandchildren for an average 16 hours each week.
Ms Hinden, a 69 year old retiree, says she spends most of her time chasing after her two granddaughters, aged three and six. She takes on the majority of care for the two children so their parents can work and although their children are regularly in formalised care, the family don’t have access to all the care they need.
Ms Hinden has been stepping in to help since her first granddaughter was born, but is on call now almost every week. She doesn’t mind helping out, but realises that the family will have trouble if she is sick or goes on a well-deserved holiday.
Unfortunately this isn’t an isolated case – the reality is there are just not enough flexible childcare options for families, particularly for those who have grandparent care but occasionally need more care, or those who have flexible work arrangements and need more care one week and less the next.
Grandparents are the most popular form of childcare in Australia, with around 837,000 children looked after by their grandparents each week, according to the Bureau of Statistics.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, most grandparents provide childcare so their daughters or daughters-in-law can return to work after having a family, but only 3 per cent are paid. Many grandparents are feeling the burden and sometimes would like a break.
According to the Australian Seniors Insurance Agency survey, one in four would like to provide less care than they do while 37 per cent say they would like to be paid for looking after their grandchildren.But it’s likely that number is even higher, ASIA spokesman Simon Hovell told a Sydney newspaper. “There is a stigma around asking for money,”
But it’s likely that number is even higher, ASIA spokesman Simon Hovell told a Sydney newspaper.
“There is a stigma around asking for money,” Mr Hovell told the Sydney Morning Herald. “It’s reasonable to assume that there is a percentage of grandparents who would like to be paid, but feel uncomfortable asking for it.”
Around 937,000 children in Australia are currently receiving care from their grandparents – an amazing commitment by many grandparents. It is hoped that when the grandparents need a break, are on holidays or sick, that other care options may be available to families.