Mum sparks fierce debate after grandparents demand money for looking after grandchildren

13 August 2019, 10:08 | Updated: 13 August 2019, 10:10

Should grandparents be paid for childcare
Should grandparents be paid for childcare. Picture: Getty Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

A parent online has asked whether grandparents should be paid for looking after their grandchildren.

One mum has sparked a debate online after asking whether it was fair that her parents demanded money for looking after their grandchildren. 

The unnamed parent had been on maternity leave, but before returning part time she reached out to her mum and dad for help taking care of her young daughter. 

While her parents agreed, they asked for some money towards childcare - which didn’t go down too well with their daughter. 

Writing on forum Mumsnet, the mum asked: “Will be going back to work soon 3 days a week after mat leave. 

“Parents have said they will be happy to but for £50 a week.., am I being unreasonable to think this isn't the norm?” 

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And it looks as though the nation is totally divided, as one person replied: “£50 is a bargain! How generous of them to save you so much money.”

Another agreed: “I think that's reasonable, still saving a fair bit of money and it's probably to cover costs.”

However, someone disagreed: “I don't pay mine,” before adding: “The food, soft play, days out etc all adds up though. Is it possibly just a case of wanting to cover some costs?”

While a fourth added: “Mine don't charge anything. Mum used to have my son 2 full days and now they collect him from school 4 days.”

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This comes after it was revealed British grandparents could earn up to £19,000 a year if they charged for childcare. 

According to website, if they were paid the national average (£9 per hour) for babysitting five days a week, they would boost their annual income by £18,720 on average.

Richard Conway, founder of Childcare, said: “Grandparents are often heavily relied upon when it comes to babysitting and these figures show just how much valuable their time is.

“On average, babysitters get paid £9 per hour, and when you consider that some grandparents have become the primary carer for their grandchildren while parents are at work, it adds up to a very substantial amount of money.”

He then added that "Grandparents deserve a huge amount of recognition for taking care of their grandchildren" but sometimes parents should look at alternatives such as childminders or nannies.