GoCompare uses cookies. By using the website you agree with our use of cookies. Continue Find out how to manage cookies and view our policy here

Grandparents pay £380 for the privilege of looking after their grandchildren

04 December 2013

Research from comparison site Gocompare.com has found that rather than being paid for the service they provide, grandparents are having to spend an average of around £380* a year while looking after their grandchildren.

The survey of 1,000 grandparents showed that just under a third (31%) are spending between £5 and £10 on their grandkids every day that they look after them, and nearly a fifth (18%) fork out between £10 and £15.

It’s not surprising, then, that almost one in ten (9%) grandparents feel that looking after their grandchildren costs them a small fortune.

Gocompare.com’s research revealed what grandparents splash the cash on when they are looking after their grandchildren:

  • 72% forked out on treats;
  • 71% spent on food;
  • 38% splashed out on activities for the children;
  • 38% bought books and toys;
  • 30% paid for transport costs;
  • 22% treated their grandchildren to new clothes.

Despite spending a small fortune on their grandchildren, 63% of grandparents aren’t offered a penny for the childcare they provide, and only 3% said that their children pay them a set hourly amount, with the average they were paid being just £3.05 per hour. And with the typical weekly charge for a child-minder currently standing at £96.67** for a child over two years old, it’s clear that the nation’s grandparents are providing a valuable service to working families.

And while 22% of the grandparents quizzed said that looking after their grandchildren is hard work but they feel obliged to do it to help their children, nearly three quarters (72%) said they enjoy looking after their grandkids.

Gocompare.com’s customer insight manager, Claire Peate, said: “Grandparents are a vital support system for any working family, and I think we forget how much they shell out every day while looking after our children.

“And with the majority offering their childcare services for free, it’s understandable that over a quarter of grandparents (26%) said that the state pension should be increased for pensioners who also act as child-minders.

“Just offering your parents a few pounds towards the cost of looking after your children could make a massive difference to them, as money is tight for everyone at the moment – grandparents included.”

- ends -

Notes to editors:

On 5th August 2013, OnePoll carried out a survey of 1,000 UK grandparents on behalf of Gocompare.com.

*£380 is based on the fact that, on average, the grandparents surveyed looked after their grandchildren for 8.23 hours per week = one working day = 52 days a year. The average amount grandparents spent when looking after their grandchildren was £7.27. 52 days x £7.27 = £378.04 per year.

**Figures taken from Childcare Costs Survey 2013 from Daycare Trust.