A report released yesterday by the Council on the Ageing has found informal childcare by grandparents is saving parents almost $90 million a year – that's in New South Wales alone.
Some grandparents say they feel exploited by their busy adult children, but say they simply can't say no when it comes to looking after their grandkids.
According to the ABC, the new report finds between 10% and 20% of people aged over 65 years are spending substantial amounts of time babysitting and it's saving families in NSWales tens of millions of dollars a year.
Ian Day, from the New South Wales Council on the Ageing, says about 200,000 grandparents are spending a “fair amount” of time a week looking after their grandchildren.
“The average time per week is about 12.7 hours and therefore probably saving their children in the order of $1.8 million a week or almost $90 million a year in childcare costs,” he says.
While grandparents might be feeling the strain of caring for grandkids physically, they don’t seem to be affected financially.
“If we talk to grandparents they will always say, look, my children need it, my grandchildren need it. I will be there, come hell or high water,” Mr Day says.
“They are giving up their time freely and happily. As an aside they may very well say to us but geez it'd be nice sometimes if somebody said thank you.
“Generally grandparents don't say no. They are there all the time.”