Grandparents army: Ireland’s new childminders?

17 per cent of Irish grandparents are relied upon for childcare on a weekly basis. The results stem from an online survey conducted by Today’s Mum, and while the numbers speak for themselves, we can’t help but wonder about the reasons behind the statistics.

Read: Everything you need to know about choosing childcare!

Grandparent Army

The numbers of the ‘Grandparent Army’ rise more and more every year as Irish parents are continually priced out of childcare for their children, be that creche prices or for individual childminders. In fact, according to the survey 25 per cent of parents rely on their own parents for childcare a few times a month. This is not to say grandparents wouldn’t choose to spend more time with their grandchildren – the opposite in fact, and it’s because they’re so happy to fall into the role of childminder that the number of grandparents minding their children’s children continue to rise.

Seeing eye-to-eye

And while parents were happy to use their own parents for childcare, 73 per cent of respondents don’t see eye-to-eye on issues regarding discipline and behaviour, with 5 per cent saying that they disagreed about everything with their parents in relation to their children.

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Moving on with the times

Over 50 per cent of parents stated that their parents have more interaction with their children than their own grandparents did when they were children. And 47 per cent of those grandparents feel like they spend the ‘perfect amount of time’ with their grandchildren, with 48 per cent wishing they had more, and only 5 per cent wishing they had less!

With numbers like that it looks like the perfect solution to unaffordable childcare. When grandparents want to spend more time with their grandchildren and are near enough to provide that assistance for their children, what’s the fuss? But what about people without grandparents nearby? Who can they turn to when childcare remains the unaffordable prices it is, and even as prices rise?

Read here to learn more about the Irish government’s initiative to help parents with the cost of childcare from 2017!

What do you think? How much childcare do your parents provide? Do you think they do it because they want to, or do they do it because they feel like they have to? Let us know.

See the full results of the survey here!