Budgeting for a family - grandparents mucking in
Published 4 September 2012 by Lucy Bower
Grandparents are mucking in to help families with their childcare costs, at a time when it's estimated that it costs £150 per week to raise a child.
It's becoming more and more expensive to raise a family, at a time when many people are finding their incomes don't keep up with inflation. The Child Poverty Action Group estimates that it costs £143,000 to raise a child to the age of 18 - an average cost of around £150 per week.
The charity also says that Child Benefit only meets 20% of childhood costs for couples and 18% for single-parent families.
It's reported in the Guardian that a growing number of parents are in so-called "pay neutral" work - which means their income only really covers childcare and travel expenses.
When finances are tight, people often turn to family and friends for financial support, although many grandparents are helping out by donating their time instead of money.
According to research by insurer RIAS, 5.8 million grandparents in the UK regularly provide childcare, and virtually all of them do it for free. It's estimated this is saving families £1,888 on average every year - the equivalent of £11 billion nationally.
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