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Family holiday? Don't forget to pack grandma!

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Publication Date: 
23 Aug 2010

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The RIAS 'Summer Holiday Helpers' study highlights that a third (30%) of grandparents, equivalent to 3.75 million grandmas and granddads across the UK, say they regularly holiday with their children and their grandchildren for the sole purpose of providing childcare assistance.

These holiday 'nannies' are the sign of a growing trend that sees families holidaying in larger groups, increasing the amount of quality family time they spend together, but also to help parents take a well-earned break themselves, sharing the childcare responsibilities.

Janet Connor, Managing Director at RIAS, comments: "Our 'Summer Holiday Helpers' study shows that the extended family holiday is enjoying a comeback and that grandparents really are at the heart of many families.  As working hours get longer and the impact of previous years' economic turmoil hangs over us, it looks as though parents are relying on grandparents more than ever before, especially over the long summer holiday break.  We expect the trend to grow as families look to make the most of their free time together, and the spare pairs of hands that grandparents provide are certainly a welcome support."


When they're not escorting younger relatives and their frazzled parents on holiday, just over half (51%) of the UK's grandparents who provide childcare for their grandchildren over the summer holidays do so in their own house, meaning that it is fast becoming a 'holiday home' for many children.

Even when they're at home, half of grandparents (50%) claim they are increasingly called on to provide childcare duties during the school summer holidays in July and August.  The main reasons for this is that parents have had to return to work because of the economic climate (26% of childcare providing-grandparents agree with this) and seem to be working ever longer hours (28% agree).


Over half (60%) of the 12.5 million over 50s grandparents across the UK, equivalent to 7.5 million grandparents, regularly provide childcare for their grandchildren.  The time they spend doing this over the summer period alone could cost parents up to £558 if they had to pay for it - potentially saving UK parents around £806 million in childcare costs this year alone.


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