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Nine out of 10 parents asked believe grandparents are the best people to look after their children while they work and most can only work their current hours because of the flexible childcare they offer.
Research by insurer Legal & General has revealed 87 per cent of the 1,030 parents it questioned thought grandparents were the best childcarers and more than two thirds (69 per cent) are only able to work their current hours thanks to grandparents' help.
Just under a third of parents (28 per cent) said they would have to leave their jobs and stop working altogether if grandparents could no longer step in to help with the children.
Some 32 per cent said they would need to find alternative paid for childcare if grandparents could no longer help them. On average, grandparents look after grandchildren for 7.5 hours a week according to the study.
Some 31 per cent have reduced their working hours or stopped work altogether to help with childcare.
Paula Llewelyn, insurance marketing director at Legal & General, said: “Being able to rely on grandparents also helps parents financially as they can avoid expensive childcare costs but still have the peace of mind that their child is being looked after by a family member.
“However, the report also brings to light the number of risks that families face if grandparents should become ill or die. Grandparents and parents alike should consider having a robust financial safety net in place.”
The report was launched to coincide with Grandparents Day on 4 October and this month another study reveals overgenerous grandparents are compromising their own standard of living and leaving themselves short of capital because of the sacrifices they make for grandchildren.
According to research by Investec Wealth & Investment, based on interviews with 1,019 people aged over 55, the cutbacks made by overgenerous grandparents include reducing travel (50 per cent), meals out (42 per cent), home improvement plans (39 per cent), clothes (24 per cent), hobbies (21 per cent) and food shopping (11 per cent).