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Grandparents contribute much more to the economy in childcare than previously thoughtCreated by Arabela in Saving for grandchildren
While previous estimates showed grandparents provide anywhere from £1 to £3 billion a year in free childcare to their grandchildren, anabolics new research from charity Grandparents Plus reveals the that number is well over £7 billion. Keep that in mind the next time someone remarks on pensioners’ economic contributions! It’s well past time that grandparents, order especially pensioner grandparents volunteering their time despite living on a fixed income, get the recognition they deserve.
Grandparents are ‘lifelines’
In the tough economy, wages have stagnated over the past 5 years while the costs of nurseries and other childcare options have skyrocketed well above the level of inflation. This has put many families with young children in a difficult situation, as many lower-income and part-time workers have found that it may not even make financial sense to work given the high cost of childcare.
Grandparents have come to the rescue, volunteering their time to provide childcare for a total of 1.6 million children under the age of 15. That means 1 in 7 children is now looked after by a grandparent, up from 1.3 million children just 12 months ago. In total, grandparents look after their grandchildren for 1.7 billion hours each year, according to the study from Grandparents Plus and Age UK. If these grandparents charged the average childminder rate, they would receive £7.3 billion a year, nearly double the figure of £3.9 billion in 2004.
Save parents money, save money for grandchildren
Of course, it’s not enough for grandparents to save their children £7.3 billion a year. A majority are also either currently contributing or looking for a way to contribute into their grandchildren’s future savings well. No wonder charity Grandparents Plus called grandparents “a lifeline to family squeezed by falling incomes and rising childcare costs.”
“Their contribution to the economy is enormous,” Grandparents Plus continued in an undeniable statement.
Grandparents who are looking to do more for their children’s families may want to consider saving into a Junior ISA for their grandchildren, though the parents or legal guardians must open this account before other family members can start contributing. Two other options are the Young Saver Plan and the University Savings Plan, both on offer from Shepherd’s Friendly.