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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 December 2006, 00:57 GMT
Grandparents 'pay for childcare'
Figures reveal how generous grandparents are to their families
Grandparents are increasingly paying for childcare costs and debts incurred by their children, research has said.

Figures showed that the numbers of grandparents who contribute to childcare costs rose to 21% from 10% between July and October.

In the same period, the proportion helping their children pay off debts rose from 6% to 20%, the survey found.

Researchers commissioned by Engage Mutual Assurance interviewed 4,640 people in October and 2,248 in July.

Overall, one in two grandparents have subsidised the costs of bringing up their grandchildren in the last six months, with one in five contributing to the cost of childcare.

Meanwhile, almost one in five (19%) have helped their adult children cover the costs of their family home while 4% helped to cover education costs.

Southern peak

The proportion of working grandparents subsidising childcare was at 18%, research said.

Regionally, the south has the highest proportion of grandparents helping with childcare costs, with the figure at 28%.

However, only 5% of Britons with retired parents have helped with utility bills and only 7% have provided financial assistance.

Karl Elliott, 3GB spokesperson for engage Mutual Assurance, commented: "With money issues becoming an increasing concern in modern Britain, this research shows the important role families play in providing financial security.

"Despite concern that old age pensioners are unable to afford retirement, grandparents continue to make a valued contribution to extended family finances."

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