Grannies want reward for babysitting grandchildren

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London, Apr 2 (UNI) Grandparents who leave their jobs and spend a fifth of their lifetime looking after their grandchilren, say they want to be paid for what they do, new research says.

According to the research, grandparents spend more than 17 hours a month and 20 dollars per day looking after their grandchildren.

Almost one in five ''granny nannies'' spent 40 hours a week caring for grandchildren. Yet they rarely got anything for their trouble and many were even exploited by their families, it added.

The research by Saga Insurance, said many grandparents gave up paid employment to spend the equivalent of a week's full-time employment every month looking after their grandchildren.

The panel found that 61 per cent of all grandparents regularly looked after their grandchildren.

Almost half of those spent more than 16 hours a month caring for grandchildren, and 15 per cent spent more than 40 hours, the equivalent of a week of full-time employment.

Almost all of those questioned received no money. Those who were rewarded received payment in kind such as being helped in their home. Only one per cent were paid cash for their time.

The study also revealed that many grandparents were out of pocket because of expenses incurred while looking after the grandchildren.

A quarter had reduced their working hours to make time to look after their grandchildren.

The average amount spent by grandparents was 10.75 pounds per day per child with food and activities taken into account. Most grandparents looked after two children at a time, pushing the cost above 20 pounds a day.

More than three quarters of grandparents (76 per cent) were not reimbursed for any of these costs, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Nearly six in 10 grandparents and 61 per cent of all people believed that parents should be able to claim child care benefits to pay them, as they could be used to pay for professional child care.

At present UK parents pay 8,000 pounds a year on average to send a child to a nursery. In London and the South East the costs are considerably higher.

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