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AIBU?

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:
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Am I being unreasonable?

283 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
6%
You are NOT being unreasonable
94%
Maray1967 · 08/02/2024 12:51

Nothing wrong with paying or providing vouchers and treats instead. I think either are lovely thank yous - to not offer anything, unless your parents have insisted on being given nothing, is a bit cheeky, I think.

If grandparents are expecting the childminder or nursery going rate, they need to do more than put the TV on, though.

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PBJsandwich123 · 08/02/2024 12:51

For context, I lost my parents in my 20s so only my (divorced) in-laws as grandparents. My mother in law thinks I'm marinating in inheritance money (an unfair and untrue assumption) so charges me for things she's never charge her other son's partner for or my partners ex's including childcare - I suppose that's her choice, but it makes me feel a bit sad that I'm just a bank account to her. For 6 hours childcare, she gets £60/day from me + all food her her plus kids + any money for activities, and I know my partner sneaks her some extra. Anyway for that she parks them in front of the TV and feeds them sweets (this drives me nuts), even though I'll make enough shepherds pie for her and them the night before. Wanted to keep my job, but I'm realising that getting affordable childcare is just not going to happen now - at least not where they get any sort of metal stimulation. Sorry for the rant. Your set up sounds good - I think £20 shows appreciation, and agree with you that it's a nice gesture - no one likes to feel used.

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PictureALadybird · 08/02/2024 12:53

Your friend is right. I wouldn’t pay grandparents for looking after their own grandchildren.

It is a privilege, not a right. If you want to, that’s fine, but it isn’t “doing me a favour”. It’s fostering a relationship between the two of you.

I think it’s despicable any grandparent would accept money.

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Iwasafool · 08/02/2024 12:55

If your parents were setting this up as a money making business they really aren't business minded. Up to 40 hrs care for £80, I mean that isn't even 20% of NMW. It is a nice idea to give them something for lunch or an outing, it is really paying them and as long as both parties are fine it isn't anyone else's business.

I think it is a good lesson that it isn't always a good idea to give "friends" too much information.

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Lizzieregina · 08/02/2024 12:59

I think £20 for a 10 hour day isn’t “paying” as that would cost $250 in my neck of the woods.

I do think grandparents should be paid if they’re essentially doing full time care, especially if they’ve given up their own paid work to provide this care.

A day a week to be nice/have relationship with LO would be all I’d be willing to do for nothing.

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Firsttimemumz · 08/02/2024 13:01

PictureALadybird · 08/02/2024 12:53

Your friend is right. I wouldn’t pay grandparents for looking after their own grandchildren.

It is a privilege, not a right. If you want to, that’s fine, but it isn’t “doing me a favour”. It’s fostering a relationship between the two of you.

I think it’s despicable any grandparent would accept money.

Grandparent is definitely doing us a favour, nursery costs would be close to £800-900 a month, we pay grandparent £240 a month.

My friend is also of this opinion that grandparent would be awful for accepting, but I do not see it this way

OP posts:
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shiningstar2 · 08/02/2024 13:04

I think paying £20 a day is an excellent idea. These are long hours and it means the grandparents need never be stuck in the house with the grandchildren if they'd rather go out. Shows appreciation but more importantly can be spent on all sorts of days out which makes the days far less onerous for the grandparents. Most grandparents love to treat their grandkids and if it was one day a week days out would be no problem but at least 3 maybe 4 every week would be very expensive and many grandparents wouldn't be able to afford going out that often. You are saving money and making the job of childcare for the grandparents much pleasanter. Petting farms, paid play places when it's cold, lunches out, cinema for toddler mornings, coffee mornings with other grannies who babysit...loads more things to do. Granny's choice...jo need to feel trapped in doors or hint it's getting expensive. Most will probably be spent on the grandchild but grandma happy and feels appreciated. Well done you. 💐

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Iwasafool · 08/02/2024 13:04

I meant it isn't paying them.

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PictureALadybird · 08/02/2024 13:07

Firsttimemumz · 08/02/2024 13:01

Grandparent is definitely doing us a favour, nursery costs would be close to £800-900 a month, we pay grandparent £240 a month.

My friend is also of this opinion that grandparent would be awful for accepting, but I do not see it this way

That’s why I said they wouldn’t be doing me a favour.

Having a monetary relationship for grandparent to see grandchild is just sad and makes me concerned about how they value the relationship in general.

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Soozikinzii · 08/02/2024 13:10

I wouldn't call £20 a day payment you're just sending money for activities, treats , transport etc at that rate so everyone else can butt out !3 or 4 ling days a week is obviously going to incurr some costs and prevent any other source of income .

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WiddlinDiddlin · 08/02/2024 13:11

Entirely depends on the situation.

If it suits you, the child and the grand-parents, I can't see the problem, and it is no ones business but yours!

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haveyouopenedyourbowelstoday · 08/02/2024 13:17

I have my 15 month old grandson every Wednesday. I dropped hours to arrange this with work but pick up bank shifts (nurse). I offered this as soon as she was pregnant as I wanted to be a hands on Nana.
I'd never expect payment even though I do take him out-soft play, gym etc. that's my choice.
If I had him more and was unable to work as a result I think a conversation would need to be had.

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usernother · 08/02/2024 13:33

PictureALadybird · 08/02/2024 12:53

Your friend is right. I wouldn’t pay grandparents for looking after their own grandchildren.

It is a privilege, not a right. If you want to, that’s fine, but it isn’t “doing me a favour”. It’s fostering a relationship between the two of you.

I think it’s despicable any grandparent would accept money.

Well lucky old you that you know you'll be have such a massive pension you'll never be in need of money so you can take your grandchildren out and buy them things.

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PictureALadybird · 08/02/2024 13:38

usernother · 08/02/2024 13:33

Well lucky old you that you know you'll be have such a massive pension you'll never be in need of money so you can take your grandchildren out and buy them things.

Grandparents don’t need to “go out and buy their grandchildren things”. They can foster a perfectly good relationship in their own house.

Bells and whistles are not necessary.

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Gillypie23 · 08/02/2024 14:23

It's not paying. It's treating them and making sure they aren't out of pocket.

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mrssunshinexxx · 08/02/2024 15:41

Sounds totally reasonable and lovely that you are aware that it isn't easy and they are giving up alot to do this for you.
Sadly never got the chance to have my mum as a grandma she passed when I was pregnant but me and dh had discussed as knew she would never accept money I would of always made sure my house was clean so she didn't feel she needed to do that / make sure tea was prepped/ her fave things in for lunch, get her a voucher for pub meal every month / nice things like that . Wish I could of x

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Ponderingwindow · 08/02/2024 15:49

20 a day is going to cover things like lunch or outings. It’s hardly even paying the grandparents for care, it’s covering expenses.

i’m of the opinion that anyone providing regular childcare should be paid a real wage, even if that person is family. It’s fine for a grandparent to cover a night out or a random day, but to be your regular childcare deserves an actual paycheck. They are forgoing a job or other opportunities to make a massive commitment.

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usernother · 08/02/2024 15:54

@PictureALadybird Grandparents don’t need to “go out and buy their grandchildren things”. They can foster a perfectly good relationship in their own house.

Bells and whistles are not necessary

It maybe is not necessary but it's a lot easier having a high chair and a travel cot in your own house than it is managing without them.

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Veggie1961 · 08/02/2024 15:54

PictureALadybird · 08/02/2024 12:53

Your friend is right. I wouldn’t pay grandparents for looking after their own grandchildren.

It is a privilege, not a right. If you want to, that’s fine, but it isn’t “doing me a favour”. It’s fostering a relationship between the two of you.

I think it’s despicable any grandparent would accept money.

I can assure you that I would be surprised that Grandparents consider it a privilege or a right to provide free childcare a few times a week. And for many people they would be doing them a HUGE favour having their children for nothing!
Absolutely adore my grandchild but really wouldn’t be keen babysitting a few days a week. I doha e other interests as well

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Iwasafool · 08/02/2024 15:56

PictureALadybird · 08/02/2024 13:38

Grandparents don’t need to “go out and buy their grandchildren things”. They can foster a perfectly good relationship in their own house.

Bells and whistles are not necessary.

Maybe the OP wants the child/children to be able to do other things, go to soft play or swimming or have lunch out. I imagine the OP does want that as she is providing some money to cover it.

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Dotjones · 08/02/2024 15:59

If anything grandparents should be paying to look after the grandchildren, the money shouldn't be going in the other direction.

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SecondUsername4me · 08/02/2024 16:19

If she brings it up again I'd just say "I'm not paying her, I'm just covering her expenses. Are you not? Surely that actually leaves your dm/mil out of pocket?"

And just leave her to explain that.

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SecondUsername4me · 08/02/2024 16:21

OP is your dm past retirement age? 3 or 4 10hr days a week looking after a baby or toddler is surely exhausting?

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Birch101 · 08/02/2024 16:25

If grandparents are taking care of children and doing things with them then yes of course you should at the very least offer so they are not out of pockets and show you value and appreciate them

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Rosesanddaisies1 · 08/02/2024 16:27

If you and the GP are happy with that, great. Given that amount of childcare, a token amount is a nice gesture. This is assuming the GP was already retired, and hasn't given up their work to provide the childcare.

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