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Have the government forgotten about grandparents?

(118 Posts)
Argeles Mon 24-Aug-20 05:37:52

My parents usually look after our children while my Husband and I go to work (pre-lockdown).

As we are a couple and my parents are a couple, we are not allowed to form a bubble.

So, what will happen on the 1st September when my Husband and I have to physically return to work?

My parents are very concerned about breaking the ‘bubble’ rules, and we are very worried as we have no other childcare options. I know of at least 7 other families in my DD’s class who are in the same situation too, and know there will be many, many more across the country.

Is a government announcement on this imminent, or have grandparents been forgotten about??? I can’t believe there hasn’t been any information on this!

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OccasionalNachos Mon 24-Aug-20 05:41:46

To answer your question directly, yes the govt have probably forgotten about grandparents because they don’t get money from them in the same way as pubs reopening...

My parents are not elderly or particularly vulnerable. They’ve been coming to the house and/or looking after DS since early July. I wasn’t willing to keep my baby from his family for any longer than that. Plus I returned to work in mid July and needed the childcare.

Do what you need to do.

boatyroo Mon 24-Aug-20 05:47:46

We are in the same position. Having to rely on my work to be very understanding still which can't go on forever.
I think most people seem to be ignoring that rule now. But like your parents, my in laws who used to help a lot are very concerned about breaking the rules.
I don't think the gov will ever say it's ok to be honest, as there is obviously some risk there, so not sure what to do at the moment.

Redraptor Mon 24-Aug-20 05:50:01

I agree with the above poster. It's free childcare so the government arent interested. My mum started having my dds again in July, I needed to work.

I thought, maybe (probably) wrongly, two households could meet indoors now?

boatyroo Mon 24-Aug-20 05:53:03

2 households can meet, but with social distancing, so not really useful for looking after children unfortunately!

Argeles Mon 24-Aug-20 05:53:46


Yes that is my thought too on the grandparent/money situation.

My Husband and I would love my parents to look after our children, and don't have any issues with them doing so, but my parents do. I think if the government formally announced that we could form a bubble, and some scientific advisors provided some clarity, then they would feel more comfortable.

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latticechaos Mon 24-Aug-20 06:00:17

I imagine a lot of grandparents will be concerned about their increased risks once schools return, I can understand reluctance to break bubble rules etc.

I think the government is hoping everyone just forgets about the virus full stop!

Argeles Mon 24-Aug-20 06:00:39

@boatyroo @Redraptor

It's so horrible, as I have spoken with my parents a lot about childcare recently, and they're still not comfortable, and I don't want to feel like I'm trying to coerce them into something.

My parents only formed a bubble last week with my 93 year old Nan, as she was too scared to up until then. My parents feel awful as they said that they will have to cease the bubble with my Nan if they provide childcare for us in the near future, as it's too risky, and she really could do with their support too.

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Argeles Mon 24-Aug-20 06:03:44


I completely understand too.
My Husband and I are both Secondary school Teachers, and teach hundreds of students every week, and our eldest DD is also at school, and my Mum would have to travel by bus a few times each week, and so there is a lot of increased risk to my parents. I feel awful.

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latticechaos Mon 24-Aug-20 06:05:46

@Argeles Are you yourself concerned about transmission from school to your parents? I think your parents are right to be cautious tbh!

Not that that helps with the childcare problem.

latticechaos Mon 24-Aug-20 06:07:11

Sorry, crossed messages!

I feel working families have been abandoned by the government, I really do.

user1487194234 Mon 24-Aug-20 06:09:57

It doesn't sound like your parents are up for childcare at the moment and I am not sure if any help from the government is coming
All you can do is explore all childcare options/discuss the position with your and DH employers
Expect a lot of people are in the same position

Argeles Mon 24-Aug-20 06:10:54


Yes we are definitely worried about the increased risk of transmission to my parents. This is one of the reasons we feel so dreadful, as we are in effect expecting my parents to do something that could expose them to more risk.

I completely agree that working families have been abandoned by the government!

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hippyhappyhoppyhuppy Mon 24-Aug-20 06:13:23

I think you need to find alternative childcare. It seems clear that your parents are prioritising your vulnerable elderly nan who clearly need them, and even if the govt put out an announcement I doubt it would reassure them. I sympathise, as a NHS worker my childcare bill quadrupled overnight in March while my salary reduced as I had no alternative but pay a fortune once grandparents were unable to care for dd.

SummerSummerSummertime Mon 24-Aug-20 06:13:45

How old are your kids op?

Argeles Mon 24-Aug-20 06:15:02


We have already explored the other options to no avail.
I really wouldn't mind teaching online again as I did throughout the lockdown, but obviously this would create further disruption to my students and school (although I'm sure this will happen to others too, especially if they need to self-isolate/quarantine).

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TW2013 Mon 24-Aug-20 06:16:55

It sounds as if their concerns go beyond just the government rules to be honest. If they are bubbled with your Nan they are worried about catching something too.

I think it is time to explore other options and be grateful that you have had free childcare from them for a while. How old are your dc? Do you both work full time or is their some flexibility? How far is their school from the school you/dh works at? Nothing is going to change substantially in terms of actual risk over the next two weeks so you need to take responsibility, tell your parents that you will sort childcare until they feel comfortable resuming.

PersonaNonGarter Mon 24-Aug-20 06:19:00

The government haven’t forgotten about grandparents. They want older people not to catch the virus.

They just really need children to go back to school as being at home not school is very damaging. Education (not tax paying) is the motivation here.

EleanorOalike Mon 24-Aug-20 06:19:31

I appreciate it’s difficult but I really don’t think it’s fair on your parents and grandmother to put them in this position. You should really look for alternative childcare and not expose them to the virus nor force them to stop seeing a very elderly vulnerable lady so they can provide childcare for you. I’d be ringing round childminders and other childcare providers ASAP.

Argeles Mon 24-Aug-20 06:19:46


Oh my goodness, that's completely dreadful!!! I'm sorry to hear that.

We have explored the childcare options, but the nurseries are full, and many here don't open early enough for us anyway. The onsite before and after school provision for my eldest DD is full, and there has been a waiting list since last September.

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Argeles Mon 24-Aug-20 06:20:21


They are 2.5 and 5 years old.

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IgnoranceIsStrength Mon 24-Aug-20 06:23:55

Some pp don't always understand that for teachers there is literally zero flexibility with working hours etc and that many schools will refuse part time requests. We are in a similar boat. No childminders taking new children. Wrap round not running. Nursery for youngest but doesnt open until 9 and I have to be sat in front a class by 8.50....

latticechaos Mon 24-Aug-20 06:24:13


The government haven’t forgotten about grandparents. They want older people not to catch the virus.

They just really need children to go back to school as being at home not school is very damaging. Education (not tax paying) is the motivation here.

@PersonaNonGarter being in your home might be damaging your children, but being in our home is not damaging our children!

What a sweeping statement and not at all true in many cases.

I have oneuch older teen who was extremely happy working from home.

Also the virus spreading is very damaging for children too, as it will cause a lot of problems in families.

EleanorOalike Mon 24-Aug-20 06:25:41

Could you advertise now for a nanny?

Argeles Mon 24-Aug-20 06:29:01

@TW2013 @PersonaNonGarter @EleanorOalike

We've explored many childcare options, but guess we'll have to look even further into this.

My Husband is full time, and I work 4 days per week. There isn't any flexibility for us, as both of us have increased our days from this September as we needed to for financial reasons.

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