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Paying grandparents for childcare - Yes or No?

105 replies

Firsttimemumz · 08/02/2024 11:28

Context - grandparent is doing childcare for 3 days a week, sometimes 4 occasionally (around 10 hours a day)

Friend thinks paying grandparents for childcare is ridiculous, out of order that they’d even accept a penny. She said she would question if my child is a money making business for his grandparent.

I’m paying them £20 a day which in my eyes is very cheap for childcare. I offered this amount, so grandparent could buy themselves lunch etc if they go out with baby or if they want to treat themselves. Feel it’s good to pay, to show appreciation. Saving us hundreds a month. Grandparent more than happy with this, wouldn’t accept more.

Going to continue our arrangement but interested to know your views

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

283 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
canthelpitt · 08/02/2024 11:29

I think it seems great if you're both happy with it. It's just a token payment nothing compared to market rates with are about £80 a day in my area.

NoHappyEverAfter · 08/02/2024 11:30

It’s up to the grandparents, not your friend. £20 is hardly a ‘money making business’.

Faz469 · 08/02/2024 11:30

I think it's perfectly fine. I would always offer.

canthelpitt · 08/02/2024 11:30

I'll add, I never paid my mum at all but did pay for lunch, bring her a bottle of wine etc.

LadyDanburysHat · 08/02/2024 11:31

It's hardly paying for childcare. It's showing an appreciation to grandparents for all that they do for you, and potentially covering any costs of looking after your DC>

purpleme12 · 08/02/2024 11:32

But in your OP the money was for them to do things with the children
Which is a bit different to actually paying them for doing it

aterriblekindness · 08/02/2024 11:32

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icallshade · 08/02/2024 11:32

My mum wanted £60 per day (8-4) to look after my daughter as she would be losing a wage from work.
I declined.
I feel that if I'm paying then she should be providing more than basic care ie activities etc and she wasnt willing to do that. I actually pay less for nursery due to tax free childcare!

aterriblekindness · 08/02/2024 11:33

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usernother · 08/02/2024 11:34

It depends on the circumstances of the grandparents. Taking grandchildren out, buying things you need at your home for them can be costly too. If the grandparents aren't well off then giving them £20 is a really nice thing to do. Your friend sounds mean.

BodenCardiganNot · 08/02/2024 11:35

I have a friend whose parents in law mind their granddaughter 3 days per week (in my friend's house). They arrive at 8am and stay till 4pm each day. No payment asked for or offered. Friend is now annoyed that grandparents won't offer sleepovers at weekends or babysitting at night time.
The other grandparents are asked to travel about 300 miles to do overnight babysitting.

Snowdropsarecoming · 08/02/2024 11:35

£20 surely just covers additional costs rather than paying them for their services.

SallyWD · 08/02/2024 11:36

I think it's fine and good. My parents used to look after my brother's child frequently and I know they were a little disgruntled that my brother and his wife never offered a penny towards it. They certainly didn't want to be paid for childcare but I know a contribution toward lunch and activities would have been appreciated.

Scottishskifun · 08/02/2024 11:37

Your friend is living in cloud cuckoo land if she thinks £20 a day is making money for childcare!

I don't think others should be out of pocket for doing you a favour and if it means they do more activities and outings then all the better! I mean a trip to softplay is £10 minimum for starters!

BodenCardiganNot · 08/02/2024 11:37

My mum wanted £60 per day (8-4) to look after my daughter as she would be losing a wage from work.
I declined.

What would you think is a fair wage for an 8 hour working day minding a child?

mirror245 · 08/02/2024 11:38

I would always offer. Not the same thing but my dp's look after ddog several times a year when we go on holiday, saving us hundreds. They wouldn't accept money but we do always take them out for a nice meal after we come back and get my mum some flowers. It's nice to be nice.

Cherryon · 08/02/2024 11:38

I wanted to vote YABU because you aren’t paying the GPs to provide up to 40hrs of childcare a week. You are only giving a token amount that may or may not cover ancillary costs.

But then again, your friends are completely BU to think that GPs should not be paid something for childcare and I think your heart is in the right place.

if you were paying them, it should be a minimum of the NMW x hours per week. So around £11/hr or £110 a day plus the £20 a day to cover costs like food and petrol.

I know this amount is far too much, my point is that over 90% of adult children pay nothing or very little for GPs to do childcare. Paying £20/day is such a low token amount, I think YABU to claim you pay for them to do childcare. It minimises their sacrifice of the healthy retired years for your benefit.

Tangled123 · 08/02/2024 11:38

My inlaws wanted paid for minding their grandchild when I went back to work. In theory, I’ve nothing against that, but they wanted the same as nursery so we declined. It would have cost us more in the end as we wouldn’t get tax free childcare with them, they live further away than nursery so we would be using more petrol for drop offs, and we would have to provide her food as well.
I think your arrangement is fine. I would feel too bad to use childcare for 3 days and not at least cover costs. It’s a big commitment.

canthelpitt · 08/02/2024 11:39

BodenCardiganNot · 08/02/2024 11:37

My mum wanted £60 per day (8-4) to look after my daughter as she would be losing a wage from work.
I declined.

What would you think is a fair wage for an 8 hour working day minding a child?

One child and you're looking at nanny wages. Nursery and childminders have more than one so can keep prices a bit lower than a nanny.

Anneta · 08/02/2024 11:41

It’s a great arrangement as the grandparents are being recompensed for outings, food & drink costs, toys & treats for your little one, extra home energy costs, fuel for car etc and you are getting excellent low cost child care. Your friend sounds very unreasonable to me.

IncompleteSenten · 08/02/2024 11:42

I think being grateful is important and whether they get cash they should get thanks and gifts regularly. Re cash , if they want or need it then yes they should get it.

FlyingPandas · 08/02/2024 11:44

Your friend sounds bonkers OP and your arrangement sounds very sensible to me.

Years ago my DM looked after my first DC one day a week when I went back to work, she wouldn't accept any payment so I used to give her a gift card of some kind once a month so that she could treat herself to something.

It's not about the money so much as an acknowledgement of thanks and gratitude for what grandparents are doing, and a good indicator of mutual respect all round. Which can only be a good thing surely.

Lilacshade · 08/02/2024 11:45

Blimey 30 to 40 hours a week is a lot to ask and £20 a day is just a token it's nowhere near "paying for childcare".
When I had mine my mum offered to help but I said no because I wanted her to be able to enjoy doing Grandma stuff and not be committed to childminding. It turned out well because she stepped in frequently when DC were too ill for nursery and she had them for the occasional sleepover.

MaryShelley1818 · 08/02/2024 11:46

I think it's very dependent on circumstances.
I think £20 a day is very reasonable indeed, especially as they are providing nearly full time care.
My DM and DMIL do one day each a week and we're very grateful indeed. Neither work and neither would accept any money. My DM is considerably better off than us though, and both sets of grandparents are very kind and generous with their time and money. If it were financially difficult for them we would support.
Neither of them take DD out anywhere on these days - DMIL might take DD to the park or to Great Grandparents, my DM is in a wheelchair so they enjoy playing at home together. But she also attends nursery 2 days a week and then does hobbies/activities and days out with me/DH 3 days a week so doesn't miss out.

SparkyBlue · 08/02/2024 11:46

My friends mother gave up her job so my friend paid her the going rate as she said no way on earth would she find a childminder who would be as flexible as her mum was. I see nothing wrong with paying grandparents

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