17th April 2018

Bank of Scotland reveals generous Scottish grandparents

The most recent ‘How Scotland Lives’ research, from Bank of Scotland (BoS), reveals how generous grandparents are with both their time and money. One in ten grandparents manages to provide their grandchildren with more than 20 hours of childcare per week, which is the equivalent of £90 or £4,320 a year.

• 52 per cent of Scottish grandparents provide their grandchildren with childcare
• 19 per cent look after their grandkids for 10-19 hours per week
• 26 per cent provide childcare for 5-9 hours
• 41 per cent provide up to five hours of childcare per week, saving parents £22.50 per week or £1,080 per year in childcare costs
• 39 per cent of grandparents say they instigated the childcare arrangement by offering to help
• Only 1 per cent confessed to being reluctant to look after their grandkids.

As well as spending so much time looking after their grandchildren, a quarter of grandparents regularly cover the costs of activities or specific items such as school uniforms and sports kit. With the average annual cost of a school uniform being £212.88 and PE kit amounting to £87.67, grandparents could be spending over £300 per year on these items alone.

“Many of us know what a key role grandparents play in the lives of their grandchildren but it’s perhaps easy to overlook the breadth of their generosity, not just in terms of time but also financially,” said Ricky Diggins, Director for BoS. “It seems grandparents are well aware of the demands on today’s families and are happy to help, not only taking care of their grandkids’ day-to-day needs but also by saving for their future.”

The research also highlighted the role grandparents play in their grandchildren’s recreational lives, particularly during the school holidays. One in four grandparents said they regularly looked after their grandchildren during school holidays, with 51 per cent doing so on an occasional basis.

Many grandparents also help out with transport; 27 per cent regularly drop off and pick up their grandchildren from nursery or school, with 42 per cent saying they occasionally help out on the school run. Whether it’s taking them to football practice or ballet lessons, 46 per cent will take the grandkids to extra-curricular activities, with 11 per cent committing to regular travel support.

With the demands of modern life on today’s families, it’s not surprising to find grandparents playing a bigger role than ever. Indeed, 69 per cent of grandparents who provide their grandchildren with childcare say they spend more time with their grandchildren than their own grandparents spent with them.