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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
WhereIsMyLight · 08/02/2024 11:47

I would offer something, not the going rate of a nursery because if I’m paying that much I want the security of them not going on holiday and the variety of activities that nursery will have. I doubt my dad would take it, so we’d make sure there was always food/drink in and we’d probably treat them at Christmas to a nice trip away or a nice experience. I doubt my mum would take it either but she’s not as well off as my dad, so I would insist on paying for activities or outgoings and then still probably treat her.

One of DH’s friends used his parents and in-laws for childcare until they got funded hours for their 3 year old. He didn’t pay either of them and would complain when in-laws were heating the house while looking after their child. They would also complain that his parents went on holiday frequently.

Catza · 08/02/2024 11:47

If someone had to drop a day at work to do this for me, then I would pay them the equivalent amount after tax to compensate. Even without childcare, I gave my mum access to my savings account when she had to drop a day at work due to poor health. She didn't touch the money but I want her to know that she can use it if she needs to and I am not going to ask any questions about what she spends it on.
So, yes I think giving a bit of extra cash to cover lunches, activities entry etc is the right thing to do, providing your parents retired and didn't have to give up work to specifically fulfil your childcare needs. If you are all happy with the arrangement, carry on.

Brumbies · 08/02/2024 11:47

We were never paid to look after our grandkids and we never asked. Would have been nice if they'd offered tho.

femfemlicious · 08/02/2024 11:49

People who have family help with childcare don't know how lucky and blessed they are😢

Ponoka7 · 08/02/2024 11:51

I used to do around 15 hours a week CC for my DD. She got a better job and was later offered more hours. I now ask for their food to be paid for. I used to top up the elec/gas, but now don't. I'm giving up wages to help out more. I do at least four days a week. I do treat my GC to events and dates out, but that's my choice, there's free stuff about. I won't be doing another baby, I'll be needing to get back to work because I need dentistry work. If it would impact on my GC's life and I could do without it, I wouldn't take it, but if you can, it should be offered.

FuckinghellthatsUnbelievable · 08/02/2024 11:51

I think there is a difference between paying market rates and a token payment to cover expenses.

Its odd to begrudge covering expenses and possibly the odd treat like cake and a coffee.

MamPadi · 08/02/2024 11:51

I didn't pay my parents when they looked after my kids (1 day a week then school pickups as they got older), but they didn't need the money and wouldn't have accepted it (i know I'm very lucky). However if paying them a small amount to cover snacks, fuel and activities with the kids means the difference between them being able to do things with the kids rather than just stay at home then definitely you should pay, I would have in that situation, it's still way cheaper than nursery fees

VivaVivaa · 08/02/2024 11:52

I would absolutely offer money for this amount of childcare. Ad hoc days here and there maybe not, but over half their week I definitely would.

Laiste · 08/02/2024 11:54

I wonder if a lot of these suggested amounts from GPs are designed to be declined 😂

Thing is, when you've done your years child rearing and those children have kids of their own, it's nice to help out. But if you're being asked to do child care for financial reasons (parents can't afford professional fees) then why shouldn't a nod to that be part of the package?

''Mum we can't afford the £80 a day child care, but wondered if you could look after little X and we'll give you 20 or so towards it? I get to go out and earn a whole day's wage and keep my career afloat, instead of being at home with him/her, and it compensates you for tying yourself down x days a week caring for x.''

Looking after a child in order that the parent can go to work is quite a big comittment. You can't just blow out if you don't feel like it or fancy doing something else because someone's day at work is reliant on you stepping up.

To4ornotto4 · 08/02/2024 11:54

I think it's great too are doing this. It means they are covered for food and trips out and they feel appreciated. It's a huge commitment they are offering, and you would pay far more elsewhere. Great decision OP.

Mumof2teens79 · 08/02/2024 11:57

It entirely depends on the individual families.
Some will have quite wealthy grandparents with loads of time looking to help out and keep busy, while the parents themselves may be struggling.
Others will have grandparents that have given up work to try to help with the childcare and so don't have spare cash.

My parents wouldn't have taken any money but they are quite well often on their pensions and would always pay if we go out as a family fir example, where as we are usually close to the limit by pay day...but we did pay for full time childcare and only used them as back up and wrap around.

Mishmaj · 08/02/2024 12:04

Isn’t it obvious that each family will
need to make different decisions based on their financial situation, values and lifestyles? I see no problem with GPs being paid full whack (Vs eg nanny) if that’s what works for the family. Or doing it for free if they don’t need the cash and enjoy the extra time with the kids.
It’s very weird and overly judgemental to have povs on other people’s setups unless the GP are being exploited or the kids aren’t being looked after properly. Your friend is out of order but just accept that she has a different perspective, which is fair enough, for her.
Our first was looked after by GPs one day a week for a couple of years, they didn’t want payment as they enjoyed being a closer part of the family. That was a long time ago and these days they might keep an eye over an odd weekend or evening but that’s it. My MIL is retired now and is making good use of her time doing things she wants to do for herself! I’ll probably be her age by the time mine have any kids (if they even do this!) and if I have no money I wouldn’t hesitate to ask for it if doing childcare meant that I couldn’t earn my own but if I have spare ££ then I would do it for free. Tbh it’s far more likely that I will be too old and decrepit to help out at all, unfortunately.

MabelMaybe · 08/02/2024 12:06

It used to be that anyone receiving pay for childcare had to be OFSTED registered. Not sure if this has changed.

Glittering1 · 08/02/2024 12:15

That's lot of hours for 20 quid a day. Your mother must be worn out.

My friends parents minded/minds her three children five days a week, school run, breakfast, lunch dinner and sleepovers. They pay them nothing. I think it's selfish and mean.

WithACatLikeTread · 08/02/2024 12:17

Your friend sounds like a cheeky F.

phoenixrosehere · 08/02/2024 12:26

As long as both parties are happy with the arrangement, it is no one else’s business but those involved so you aren’t being unreasonable.

Some grandparents would want to be paid, some wouldn’t want to be, but would like the offer, and some would find the notion to be paid for having their grandchild/grandchildren ridiculous.

madderthanahatter · 08/02/2024 12:27

£20 for a ten hour day isn't being paid, it's just covering costs and absolutely should be done when free childcare is given.

Laiste · 08/02/2024 12:37

Glittering1 · 08/02/2024 12:15

That's lot of hours for 20 quid a day. Your mother must be worn out.

My friends parents minded/minds her three children five days a week, school run, breakfast, lunch dinner and sleepovers. They pay them nothing. I think it's selfish and mean.

Yeah we have someone in the family who barely saw their own kids growing up. The GP virtually raised them. Driving over at silly o'clock to give breakfast and drive them to school. Drive over for school pick up, take them home, homework, food, then drive them home in the evening. Years and years of it.

Plus whole weekends while parent trained for their Very Important hobby ...

It's all gone down in history as 'helping the parent keep their career'. Hours and hours of childcare. Their own rooms at the GPs. Fair enough i suppose, but one of the GP had very bad health through much of this and i wouldn't have put upon my mum as much as this person did. The rest of the family managed to raise their own kids - and chose to spend weekends with them. Because, you know, they're their kids!
<anyway rant over>

Firsttimemumz · 08/02/2024 12:41

Thank you for everyone’s comments and perspectives

Maybe I shouldn’t of called it “childcare” can anyone educate on how I should label it that is better wording?

We send child with breakfast, lunch and dinner, toys etc so wouldn’t expect grandparent to pay for any food. No day trips out unless local as grandparent does not drive anymore.

Just to clarify, grandparent didn’t want more than £20. Wanted £10 max but we are giving more.

OP posts:
Firsttimemumz · 08/02/2024 12:44

Glittering1 · 08/02/2024 12:15

That's lot of hours for 20 quid a day. Your mother must be worn out.

My friends parents minded/minds her three children five days a week, school run, breakfast, lunch dinner and sleepovers. They pay them nothing. I think it's selfish and mean.

She wanted £10 but we got her to take the £20.

I do agree, that is mean. My friend is a bit like that, she expects her mum and MIL to do alternate days and pays them nothing and expects them to pay for his food. Which is why I wrote this AIBU.

OP posts:
Bbq1 · 08/02/2024 12:46

Personally, I don't agree with paying. However, my mum and dad wanted to look after my ds to help us and became they loved him so much. Mum and dad had ds for 3 days a week from when he was a year old, 4 days from 3 and then picked him up from school /nursery later on. Pils we're older so did some pick ups and had him for an afternoon /day within the time. My parents and pils would have been so offended if money had been mentioned for caring for their gs. They saw it as am absolute privilege certainly not a sacrifice of their healthy retired years. We were incredibly grateful but everyone benefitted as my ds and gp's had a wonderful relationship. He had a lovely time with them and has many fond memories. Still very close with my mum, sadly the only one still alive. We are very close as a family though. My mum still says those years were some of the best of her life. I think it's really mercenary for money to change hands unless it's absolutely necessary as in parents need the money to live. I don't really see how having a dv costs more unless you want to. Ds used to be have a great time shopping, going to parks and gardens, having a bit of lunch out, special things they did together I wouldn't want gp's caring for my child who saw it as a duty, sacrifice or paid work.

Restinpeacefavouritecoathanger · 08/02/2024 12:47

We pay my in laws to be available. My mother in law had a morning job earning £370 a month we cover that monthly and she looks after our daughter for us four days a week usually for around 9ish hours. I'll be forever grateful to her for it, my daughter is happy with her mama and it doesn't tap us out too much.


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Mumof2teens79 · 08/02/2024 12:49

Glittering1 · 08/02/2024 12:15

That's lot of hours for 20 quid a day. Your mother must be worn out.

My friends parents minded/minds her three children five days a week, school run, breakfast, lunch dinner and sleepovers. They pay them nothing. I think it's selfish and mean.

It's not selfish or mean if the grandparents are living comfortably and want to do it and the mother/parents need the cash for essentials.
Lots of grandparents/parents of adults give their children money through the year or pay for accepting that selfish and mean?
In a lot of families you would just be passing money back and is £200 for last months childcare - OK well here is £200 to buy the kids new coats....or we'll look after the kids for free, you buy the coats.

Floralnomad · 08/02/2024 12:49

My mum looked after my eldest a couple of mornings a week and she wouldn’t have taken any money off me but we are the sort of family where you buy stuff for other people and don’t expect to get paid anyway IYSWIM . WRT the OP , it’s between you and your parent what you pay and nothing to do with your friends

CurlewKate · 08/02/2024 12:49

20 quid a day is hardly a "money making business"!

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