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Grandparenting – caring for children for parents

Grandparenting – caring for children for parents

Grandparenting – Many parents confront issues related to their participation in employment, and face decisions about caring for children and providing care to others. Below, we focus on one aspect of care that is especially valued by parents: care provided by grandparents. This care not only helps parents manage their work responsibilities, but provides opportunities for development of relationships across generations.

We know that grandparents are often called upon to care for their grandchildren, sometimes instead of, and sometimes as a supplement to, other care arrangements.10

According to HILDA in 2011:

  • 65% of grandparents aged 40-69 years sometimes cared for grandchildren (with 28% at least once a week);
  • 27% of grandparents aged 70 years and over sometimes cared for grandchildren (with 10% at least once a week).

Some gendered patterns in grandparent care are apparent, with 54% of grandmothers providing care to grandchildren (25% at least weekly), compared to 46% of grandfathers (18% at least weekly). Of course grandparent care may be provided by a couple. Of the grandfathers providing weekly grandparent care, 90% had a spouse; of grandmothers providing weekly grandparent care, 72% had a spouse.

Figure 6: Relationship/marital status of men and women across all ages

Figure 6 as described in accompanying text.

Source: HILDA, Wave 11

Figure 7: Attitudes vary with relationship status

Figure 7 as described in accompanying text.

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