Emma Soames, editor-at large, Saga Magazine, commented; "We have known for some time the value of a grandparent to both their grandchildren and their own children. Grandparents spend on average 17 hours a month providing care for their grandchildren and around 90% of them provide this care for free.
With average nursery fees now standing at around £11,000 a year, this is of huge help to parents who are having to return to work in order to keep a roof over their heads. Care given by grandparents offers so much more peace of mind to parents as these are the people they trust the most to look after their children, grandparents are also much more flexible than nurseries and other childcare settings.
Grandparents are not telling us that they are unhappy with the situation, they love spending time with their grandchildren. In addition to the free time they give, they also spend a lot on treats for the children, whether this is ice creams on days out or trips to Euro Disney. Grandparents say that on average they spend around £70 on treats and days out looking after their grandchildren during the holidays. They also tell us they are more likely to do without treats for themselves than they are to stop treating the little ones."