In Granny’s hands
Are more seniors taking care of their grandchildren than before?
(Getty Images)
‘This morning as we were coming out of the gym I spotted an elderly lady with 2 small kids... clearly Granny and 2 grandkids,’ says Parent24 blogger Deblet.

‘Have you noticed lately just how many elderly people have small kids with them these days? Are more grandparents looking after grandchildren or am I imagining it?’

Looking around, it does seem that Granny and Grandpa are taking care of kids more and more these days. We could be imagining it but it’s more than likely a reality for many families. The Parent24 2009 survey found that 15% of toddlers stay with extended family during the working day. This extended family is most likely to be grandparents who have the time and a similar value system to solace-seeking parents.

It probably is cheaper and more convenient for Ouma and Oupa to come around and collect the kids or to just drop the little ones off in the home you grew up in. But the question must be asked – is it the safest option to leave kids with older folk who don’t get around as quickly as you need to with a road-runner toddler? And what about the fact that grandparents have already paid their dues and are supposed to be relaxing through retirement?

It may not only be financial pressures or the need for two incomes that puts granny back in charge. Parental deaths because of HIV may also contribute to more small children being left in grandparents’ care.
‘If the situations were reversed,’ wonders Deblet, ‘…and my own children were cash-strapped – would I be the elderly lady with the small kids?’

What do you think? What has worked in your family in terms of daycare?

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