Survey shows pressure on grandparents to help with childcare

Over an eighth of grandparents feel under pressure to provide childcare to grandchildren, including one in 13 who are medically vulnerable, according to a Gransnet survey.

Grandparents caring responsibilities

Grandparents caring for grandchildren under 12 may qualify for Class 3 National Insurance credits

Some grandparents are facing increasing pressure to provide childcare for their grandchildren, including those who have underlying health conditions, according to a new survey.

The survey of 1,006 Gransnet users found just 15% of all respondents are currently providing any childcare  – but that includes 11% of these grandparents are in the at-risk group.

The Government has announced that in England parents can use grandparents as childcare from July 4th as part of ‘bubble’ arrangements – currently this only applies to single parent or single person households joining up with another household. Outside of bubble groups those who are over 70 or have underlying health issues will be able to meet in groups of up to two households in any location – public or private, indoors or outdoors from 4th July and meet in groups of up to six people from different households outside, but will still have to maintain social distancing and hand hygiene. From 1st August shielding for the most vulnerable will be paused, but those who have been shielding will have to adhere to strict social distancing.

Gransnet says 44% of all respondents say they don’t feel under pressure to provide childcare, but 16% do, including 13% of those in the at-risk group. 30% of those in the at-risk group say they are worried that being in touch with grandchildren will increase their risk of catching Covid-19.

Gransnet editor Lara Crisp said: “These figures show how tricky it is for at-risk grandparents to balance their own health needs against their wish to help their children. Many grandparents provide regular childcare in normal circumstances and are very happy to do so, but the extreme difficulty parents currently face in accessing their normal formal childcare arrangements is putting undue pressure on this vulnerable group.”

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