Grandparents spend more than £1,000 looking after grandchildren in the summer break

Grandparents spend more than £1,000 looking after grandchildren in the summer break

With the summer holiday fast approaching, grandparents had better fatten up their wallets! New research has found that the break doesn’t come cheap with grandparents spending £105 over their usual daily living costs - equating to over £1,000 for the average 11 days when looking after two grandchildren.

Grandparents are a vital source of childcare for many parents, especially during the long school holidays. But the research compiled by Europcar reveals that one fifth spend an extra £50-£100 per day, compared to their normal daily expenditure. And on top of the cost of looking after grandchildren, one in five have to take time off work to do so.

Olympic grandparenting

“It’s hard for parents to afford child care for the whole of the summer holidays, so grandparents often step in to hold the fort”, said Jan Emms, mum of former GB Badminton number 1, Gail Emms, who often helps out with care of her grandchildren.  “It can add up to a lot of extra expense to keep them occupied – as well as having to adjust normal daily plans. For example meal times, and what you eat, changes. And it’s a tight squeeze to get everything in the car when going out for day trips or a few days away!”

Regional grandparenting

Looking at the regional picture, grandparents in the East and North West take care of their grandchildren for an average of 12 days, compared to the national average of 11 days. However, grandparents in London, the South West, Midlands, South East and Yorkshire only take the grandkids for 10 days.

North West grandparents seem to bear the biggest financial brunt, spending £181 above their normal daily living costs. London grandparents spend on average £134 and those in the South West seem to spend the least at £79 above their normal daily living costs.

Are we there yet?

The average grandparent says they travel for an average of 1 hour and 53 minutes when they take their grandchildren away on more than a day trip during the summer holidays. However, this goes up to 2 hours 22 minutes, in Scotland, compared to just 1 hour 29 minutes in the South West.