Grand­par­ents say fam­ily would strug­gle with­out their help

Reg­u­lar free care al­lows par­ents to work to sup­port chil­dren

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS - Vic­to­ria shaw

Two-fifths of over-50s pro­vid­ing reg­u­lar care for their grand­chil­dren feel the fam­ily would have strug­gled fi­nan­cially with­out their help, ac­cord­ing to Age UK.

The char­ity found 40% of grand­par­ents in this age group who have reg­u­larly cared for their grand­chil­dren feel this way.

The re­search was re­leased ahead of Grand­par­ents Day to­mor­row.

More than half (57%) of grand­par­ents pro­vid­ing reg­u­lar child­care be­lieve their help has en­abled their own chil­dren to work more to sup­port their fam­ily.

Had they been un­able to look af­ter their grand­chil­dren, a fifth (20%) of grand­par­ents who have pro­vided reg­u­lar care feel the par­ents would have been un­able to con­tinue work­ing, over a third (35%) felt they would have had to re­duce their hours, and over half (54%) said the par­ents would have had to pay for for­mal child­care.

Nearly nine in 10 (89%) of those pro­vid­ing reg­u­lar care do or have done so at least once a week, with over one in 10 (12%) look­ing af­ter their grand­chil­dren at least once a day.

More than 1,000 grand­par­ents aged 50 and over from the UK were sur­veyed, of whom just over 420 pro­vided reg­u­lar care for their grand­chil­dren.

The re­search also looked at the im­pact on grand­par­ents them­selves.

Just over a fifth (22%) of those who pro­vided reg­u­lar care for their grand­chil­dren stopped work or re­duced their hours in or­der to do so.

Age UK is urg­ing grand­par­ents aged un­der state pen­sion age who reg­u­larly look af­ter their grand­chil­dren aged un­der 12 to check whether they are en­ti­tled to claim na­tional in­sur­ance (NI) cred­its. Do­ing this could help to boost their state pen­sion.

Age UK’s char­ity di­rec­tor, Car­o­line Abra­hams, said: “Many grand­par­ents play a vi­tal role in the care of their grand­chil­dren, en­abling their own chil­dren to stay in work and pro­vide for the fam­ily.

“But many are un­aware that they could be claim­ing ex­tra cred­its to boost their state pen­sion which could make a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence to their re­tire­ment in­come.”

Age UK said any grand­par­ent who thinks they may be en­ti­tled can call the char­ity’s ad­vice line in 0800 169 6565 or visit www.ageuk.org.uk for more in­for­ma­tion.

Many are un­aware that they could be claim­ing ex­tra cred­its to boost their state pen­sion which could make a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence to their re­tire­ment in­come. AGE UK DI­REC­TOR CAR­O­LINE ABRA­HAMS

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