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To think people will have to stop using grandparents for childcare

(171 Posts)
Emmagainno3 Mon 27-Apr-20 12:54:58

First of us I know this would be extremely difficult for some people, in particular single parents. But I can’t understand with all the talk about how dangerous it would be for kids to go back to school and passing it between each other, it also isn’t mentioned about how dangerous it would be to get children minded by older relatives.
The fact is covid affects older people more frequently and more severely than younger people. Surely there’s way more of a risk in getting grandparents to mind young children than for children to pass on covid between each other and to go back to their own immediate family.
( I’m aware some children are more vulnerable health wise etc but I’m talking majority of cases here) .
I’ve just heard of friends talking about going back to work but not wanting the schools to open but they would also be using grandparents for childcare. It just seems way more dangerous to me. Me and my dh have never had even 10 mins of childcare help from any of our families and of course it had affected our jobs and earning potential as we have to pay for all our childcare. Covid has had a huge impact on us financially. I just can’t understand the logic of keeping schools closed or having extreme measures put in and then having granny/granddad at the door collecting again.

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tappitytaptap Mon 27-Apr-20 12:59:16

I’m not sure most grandparents are going to put up with not seeing their grandchildren for months or years to be honest.

Reginabambina Mon 27-Apr-20 13:00:50

Sone people have no other option. I’m sure the ones who can afford to pay someone else to do it will do so although with the difficulty with au pairs will render it unaffordable for many families who were using au pairs for childcare before. We’ve effectively lost most of my salary as a result of loosing our au pair as we’ll have to hire a nanny when I return to work.

WorraLiberty Mon 27-Apr-20 13:01:43

By that logic, you're suggesting grandparents can never hug or have any physical contact with their GC?

RoosterPie Mon 27-Apr-20 13:02:27

I think it has to be up to the individual families. Grandparents are adults and know the risks so can decide if they’re willing to or not.

My parents won’t want to go a year not seeing their grandchildren. They understand the risks and that’s their decision they want to see their grandkids (they don’t do any work related childcare). If they made a different decision I would respect that too.

What’s important is that GPS aren’t pressured to take risks they’re uncomfortable with but you can’t police that.

PicsInRed Mon 27-Apr-20 13:02:48

Most grandparents would take the chance of death if the alternative was that they never, ever saw their family again.

I certainly would.

Bubblesbubblesmybubbles Mon 27-Apr-20 13:04:47

It will be safer for the grandparents to be the childcare and parents NOT use nursery unless the grandparents are never going to see the grandchildren ever again.

Im very aware as soon as my toddler is back at nursery we cannot protect my shielding PIL if we see them. There is also no way they wont see their grandchildren again

IvinghoeBeacon Mon 27-Apr-20 13:06:14

Try telling my children’s grandparents that.

IvinghoeBeacon Mon 27-Apr-20 13:07:51

“ Me and my dh have never had even 10 mins of childcare help from any of our families and of course it had affected our jobs and earning potential as we have to pay for all our childcare. Covid has had a huge impact on us financially. I just can’t understand the logic of keeping schools closed or having extreme measures put in and then having granny/granddad at the door collecting again.”

This just seems like sour grapes. A shame that you’ve had no help if you wanted it, but don’t try to use coronavirus as a reason to make everything as difficult for everyone else as it has been for you.

WithLotsOfSprinkles0 Mon 27-Apr-20 13:08:38

Theres no alternative for people, like myself.

My ds is 2 and we arent entitled to any free nursery so hes going to my parents while me and my partner work.
We dont work, pills dont get paid.

WithLotsOfSprinkles0 Mon 27-Apr-20 13:08:48


Emmagainno3 Mon 27-Apr-20 13:10:05

My point is I think this is a bigger threat than our kids spreading it between each other at school. That’s why I can’t understand the outrage of the idea of schools opening but no mention of keeping kids away from grandparents. This is very much what I hear around me so might be different elsewhere , I also know if people still using grandparents as childcare at the moment still.
Spreading it to grandparents is a bigger risk isn’t it? That’s what I understood from the severity of the Italian situation. The close proximity to grandparents literally caused the whole thing to blow up as they are the ones more seriously affected in the vast majority of cases.
And yes it’s been a struggle for us never having any help or support from family but it’s not a guarantee anyway as older members can get ill. It has meant earning much less in the early years and going part-time in one of our cases so of course we have felt a financial impact but we also chose to have children.
We are realistically only going to see grandparents at a distance for some time, maybe up to when/if they find a vaccine. As they are in the risk category.

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Bigfishylittlefishy Mon 27-Apr-20 13:10:43

I wouldn’t use my parents as childcare during this, although I never have done, they’re busy living their lives. My kids see them once a week/once a fortnight. That certainly lessens the potential exposure that would occur if they were doing daily drop offs and pick ups. I have modified my career so that I don’t need to rely on my mum and dad. They’ve done their bit. I wanted them to enjoy their grandchildren and get the nice bits. Not the daily drudgery of childcare and school runs.

MaggieFS Mon 27-Apr-20 13:13:30

We don't have help for regular childcare but have been discussing how on Earth we manage visits once we are able to. As soon DS goes back to nursery, we have to consider him contaminated!! The best we can think of is make sure we see both GMs (if we're allowed to) before he starts back, but thereafter I don't know what we do. (Assuming he goes back and we stay wfh, so minimal risk ourselves)

Waxonwaxoff0 Mon 27-Apr-20 13:13:34

Not everyone has elderly parents. My mum is 51 and my stepfather is 47.

I don't use them for childcare though as they both work full time anyway. Until school reopens, I can't go back to work and that's that.

tappitytaptap Mon 27-Apr-20 13:14:02

We moved in with my parents during the lockdown so they see one set a lot at the moment. My sister in law and niece moved in with my parents in law. I know there are (many many!) reasons people haven’t done this, but I know a few families who have but perhaps fewer than I thought might, faced with the prospect of not seeing their grandchildren. Mine are under 70 and no health conditions which obviously made the decision slightly easier.

IvinghoeBeacon Mon 27-Apr-20 13:14:42

We could afford childcare for all the days that we both work, but grandparents were keen to spend the time with their grandchildren to the extent that one travels 300 miles every week to look after my and my brother’s children on two separate days. We didn’t ask for this but are incredibly grateful and the relationship between grandparents and children is lovely. We feel incredibly lucky to have parents who we get along with and who want to be this involved. Everyone benefits. We have of course stopped this with the lockdown restrictions, but will risk assess when things allow. But none of the grandparents will be willing not to touch their grandchildren for months/years. And they will be keen to pick up regular contact when they can.

Emmagainno3 Mon 27-Apr-20 13:15:51

I really am not “sour grapes”, I’m genuinely wondering how if it’s not ok for kids to go to go to school because of risk of passing it on to more vulnerable people, how can it possibly be ok for them to be minded by (in a lot of cases) the people who we are most trying to protect as they are more at risk of getting severely ill from this?
Genuinely don’t see the logic there. It has been said a thousand times that it’s the over 60/70’s that are most at risk then it makes sense for them not to be carrying out childminding duties .
Simply put I think grandparents minding kids is more of a risk than kids being together in schools . That’s my main point.

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isabellerossignol Mon 27-Apr-20 13:18:21

There will come a time when people will no longer accept being separated from their family and friends. Since the dawn of time, in every part of the world, humans have interacted with other humans and had extended families. For a short period, governments can enforce these measures but they can't enforce them permanently, or even for a year or two. There will come a time in the next few months when people will interact again, regardless of risk because interacting with other humans is what humans do.

PastMyBestBeforeDate Mon 27-Apr-20 13:18:41

It's not just grandparents though is it? There are huge numbers of equally vulnerable parents ie people who fell into the same or higher vulnerability than 70+
Are they supposed to stop childcare?

IvinghoeBeacon Mon 27-Apr-20 13:19:10

And I’m saying it’s not always about grandparents taking on drudgery and risking their health. Some grandparents may see it that way and can decide not to have contact with their grandchildren accordingly. Those of my children will likely risk assess with a different outcome and I don’t see why your assumptions and extrapolations from your own situation should apply to them

Emmagainno3 Mon 27-Apr-20 13:19:49

Yea I can’t see once the kids are back mingling with other kids how we can have close contact with grandparents and that’s just the reality. They obviously might well be carrying it then.
I’m not in the Uk but there has been a high proportion of over 60’s affected here (I’m obviously talking about grandparents who are older not in the 40’s to pp).

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WorraLiberty Mon 27-Apr-20 13:20:02

You seem to be focusing only on the childcare aspect though.

What about visits? Once grandkids are able to visted their grandparents, they're going to want to hug and kiss etc anyway.

So it's not all about childcare.

IvinghoeBeacon Mon 27-Apr-20 13:21:45

“ Yea I can’t see once the kids are back mingling with other kids how we can have close contact with grandparents and that’s just the reality.”

This is your risk assessment. I will let my parents and ILs make their own. I can guarantee it will result in them wanting regular contact with their grandchildren when restrictions allow, and I’m not overruling that

feelingdizzy Mon 27-Apr-20 13:25:37

My parents were nearly 20 years away from 70 when my kids need childcare they were in their very early 50s when my children required childcare. Not all grandparents are over 70. So it's not being a grandparent that's an issue its being older,a distinction that I dont really ever see .

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