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57% of parents with young children ‘rely on grandparents for childcare support’

More than half (57%) of parents with children aged under 13 rely on childcare support from at least one grandparent, a survey has found.

This rises to more than seven in 10 (72%) of those living within 30 minutes of their child’s nearest grandparent, according to the research for property website Zoopla.

The survey, among 2,000 parents with children under the age of 13, found half (50%) live fewer than five miles from their child’s nearest grandparent and seven in 10 (68%) live within a 30-minute journey.

More than half (52%) of parents who receive childcare support from grandparents agreed they feel “trapped” regarding where they live.

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But more than a third (36%) of parents who have grandparent support said they could not afford to be without it.

More than two fifths (44%) of parents feeling trapped said they would like to move to a bigger home, but house prices are not affordable in their area.

Some said that they would like to move to a different area but cannot, and some also said they would like to buy a home but needed to rent to be near to grandparents.

Nearly two fifths (19%) of parents said that, since having children, they had moved closer to grandparents, while 11% are currently planning to move.

Parents questioned said that, on average, about seven miles away was the ideal distance to live from a grandparent.

Daniel Copley, consumer expert at Zoopla, suggested that parents should have “open and honest conversations with grandparents about the support they are prepared to offer, and how far they would be willing to travel”.

He added that some grandparents may be amenable to moving, adding: “Many may be looking to move to a smaller home, or free up some of the equity in their home to fund their retirement, and moving to a more affordable location may work for them as well.”

Mortar Research carried out the survey in June, among more than 2,000 parents with children under the age of 13 across the UK.

People can visit www.childcarechoices.gov.uk to find out about the support that they could receive with childcare.