Choosing childcare for parents and grandparents

Informal childcare

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. Some grandparents take on an even greater role when their child is unable to parent, and so become primary carers for the 2nd time.

Grandparents as childminders

Grandparents sometimes decide to care for non-related children as well as their own grandchildren. For grandparents, this decision can mean an extra source of income and professional development. For parents, this can provide extra comfort in the knowledge that their child’s carer will get continued support and training about childcare. 

As an added benefit, parents may be able to get financial help to pay relatives who are a 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
• not providing care in the child’s home

More information about becoming a registered childminder can be found on The Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) website.  Alternatively, contact the Family Information Service on 020 7641 7929 or fis@westminster.gov.uk 

Useful links

  • Grandparents Plus provide support and guidance for grandparents aged 28 to 90+
  • Family Rights Group can offer grandparent carers legal financial and practical advice
  • Age UK offer advice and promote Grandparent's Day which falls on the first Sunday in October
  • Saga provide useful hints and tips for looking after your grandchild 

The Family Information Service take great care over the websites we link to and review them regularly, but the service is not responsible for the content of these sites. The inclusion of a link in these webpages should not, therefore, be interpreted as an endorsement of that site, its content, or any product or service it may provide. 


Last updated: 16 June 2017
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