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Grandparents top choice for at-home kids

Jul 21st, 2010 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

childcareMAIN

Dr Madeleine Wall (Nanny) reads with her grandaughters Xanthe (5) and Phaedra (7).

GRANDPARENTS are the first choice for families looking for someone to care for their kids in New Zealand.

More than a third of children under two and almost as many between three and six are sometimes looked after by gran and granddad, according to a Statistics New Zealand survey late last year.

“This confirms anecdotal evidence that grandparents are a popular choice for informal childcare,” says StatisticsNZ labour market statistics manager Sharon Snelgrove.

Of parents who had worked or wanted to work in the 12 months prior to the survey, 14.4% said they had child care problems. 

Rising costs were the main reason for children not attending formal care (childcare centres and kindergartens), followed closely by lack of places, availability and locality.
 
childcare MAIN 2Mother of two Josie Glasson says cost was a contributing factor in her choice to ask her parents to care for her children, but it was also about creating stability for her kids.

“It gives them a sense of continuity in family meaning more than just ‘mum’,” she says.

Dr Madeleine Wall (Josie’s mother) often picks the girls up from school, and cares from them during the school holidays.

Baking cakes (right) and fun days out are at the top of the list for things to do.

For parents who choose the formal care option the Ministry of Education offers 20 hours of free early childhood care. To be eligible, the child must be aged between three and six.

Of the estimated 90,900 children aged between three and five who were attending formal care, four out of five use the 20 free hours.

Some 16.4% of parents who are eligible did not realise it was available.

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