Choosing childcare for parents and grandparents
Support Group for Grandparent Carers:
The Grandparent Association is there to help you. Find out how to meet other grandparent carers by attending their monthly drop ins. See details below.
Many families use informal childcare as an option when returning to work or training rather than formal childcare such as nurseries or centre-based care. According to research by Age UK , one in four UK grandparents look after their grandchildren while the parents go out to work, providing millions of hours of free childcare. Some grandparents take on an even greater role when their child is unable to parent, and so become primary carers for the second time around.
It has been suggested that rather than continue as the invisible backbone of many families, grandparents should receive the social and financial recognition they deserve.
Grandparents as Childminders
Grandparents sometimes decide that they would like to care for non-related children in addition to their own grandchildren. For grandparents, this decision can mean an extra source of income and professional development. For parents, this decision can provide extra comfort in the knowledge that their child’s carer will get continued support and training about childcare. Children can also benefit as it allows them additional opportunities to play and learn alongside other children while they are in the care of their grandparents.
As an added benefit, parents may be able to get financial help to pay relatives who are registered Childminder. Both employer-supported childcare (such as childcare vouchers) and the childcare element of Working Tax Credit can be used to pay grandparents who are:
• Registered with Ofsted
• Providing care for non-related children in addition to their grandchildren; and
• Not providing care in the child’s home.
Anyone who wishes to care for non-related children in their own home for four or more hours per day must register as a Childminder with Ofsted. Grandparents will only be able to register if they plan to care for non–related children in addition to their grandchildren. More information about becoming a registered Childminder can be found on The Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY formerly NCMA) website www.pacey.org.uk. Alternatively you may contact the Family Information Service who will provide details of the next childminding information sessions hosted by the City council. The 2-hour sessions provide information, advice and guidance for prospective childminders.
Support for grandparent carers
Many playgroups and toddler groups make grandparents welcome by stating that they are open to 'carers' as well as parents. Grandparents carers can make use of Children's Services such as children's centres, reading sessions at libraries or join in the under 5s activities in health centres and parent and toddler groups.
The Grandparents Association support grandparents from 28 to 89 years and beyond, contact them at www.grandparents-association.org.uk. For the helpline, call: 0845 4349585.
Grandparents Plus is at www.grandparentsplus.org.uk or call 020 8981 8001.
The Family Rights Group can offer grandparent carers legal financial and practical advice. Visit www.frg.org.uk or call 0800 731 1696.
Age UK offer advice and promote Grandparent's Day which falls on the first Sunday in October. To find out more visit the site www.ageuk.org.uk.
Grannynet provides online support for grandparents. offering advice, refreshr courses for new grandparents on how to care for babies, a shop and a forum to chat to other grandparents, Granny net is a one stop shop for grandparents who like to be in the know. To find out more and how to set useful ground rules for keeping your child-minding mum happy visit. http://www.grannynet.co.uk/
Useful hints and tips for looking after your grandchild can be found on Saga's website. http://www.saga.co.uk/lifestyle/people/families/resources-for-grandparent-carers.aspx
Social networking for Lone Parents
One Space is a parenting site for single parents.
Find advice and information on all aspects of parenting alone, a lively online community supported by experienced single parenting specialists; low cost or free events for you and your family, plus online learning courses, including Assertiveness, Ways into Work and much more!
One Space is a project delivered by Single Parent Action Network to support single parents with parenting alone.
The Family Information Service take great care over the websites we link to and review them regularly, but the Family Information Service is not responsible for the content of these sites. The inclusion of a link in Family Information Service email should not, therefore, be interpreted as an endorsement of that site, its content, or any product or service it may provide.
Was this useful?
Whatever your interest, Westminster City Council welcomes and encourages you to get in touch with suggestions for improvements to the site. Please tell us how useful this page was to you.