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Any idea how much your Babysitting is worth?

Baby sitting grandkids is a normal add on activity for many in Laterlife. Birds of a Feather star Linda Robson says she thinks that grandparents are invaluable; and certainly many modern parents couldn’t organize their lives successfully without the help of grandparents.

Now a new study has worked out the time grandparents give to babysitting in the UK and estimated the wage packet if the time were spent doing a paid job instead. They have worked out that grandparents on average would be in line with an amazing £22,043 just for the babysitting they do during the summer months! They have also found that grandparents in Birmingham do the most babysitting work with Newcastle not far behind.


The research was organised by HSL Chairs, who make specialist comfort furniture, and they found that the UK is home to a nation of really hardworking over 50s.

They found that two thirds of grandparents put in around 600 hours of hard graft during the summer holidays looking after grand kids.

Based on time from the research and salary scales from payscale.com; HSL Chairs said they had
estimated the cost as follows:

  • Personal Chef (baking and preparing meals) £29.04 per hour
  • Private Tutor (revision, homework, educating, reading) £23.18 per hour
  • House & Grounds Keeper (tidying and cleaning, gardening) £10.01 per hour
  • Chauffeur (taking to and from pay dates, activities) £18.64 per hour
  • Life Coach (listening to problems, breaking up arguments, keeping the peace) £102.13 per hour
  • Private Nurse (helping them wash and dress, giving medication, applying sun-cream etc.) £19.88 per hour
  • Event manager (organising and attending trips to theme parks, nature walks, historical sites etc.) £18.89 per hour
  • Sports coach (playing sports games, taking to lessons etc.) £27.97 per hour
  • Creative Director (crafting, styling, role play) £43.65 per hour

But while the research revealed grand-parenting as one of the toughest jobs (35% admitted they felt emotionally drained after babysitting and 57% admitted being physically exhausted), the research also showed that babysitting is one of the most satisfying jobs for the over 50s and 60s.

More than a third of grandparents involved in this research named looking after their grandchildren as the most satisfying job they while almost 40% said their grandchildren helped them to stay fit and active. Many grandparents (over a quarter) say they learn new things from their grandchildren.

Grandmother Linda Robson treasures her time with little Lila


Loose Women Panellist and star of Birds of a Feather, Linda Robson, spends a lot of time looking after her granddaughter, Lila, after relying heavily on her own mother to help with childcare for her children when they were little. She comments: “I honestly think that grandparents are invaluable. I couldn't have worked without my mum looking after my children when they were little, and I treasure my time with my granddaughter Lila. We have the best time together and have a special bond that will always be there. I love our time together."

British grandparents are without doubt very committed. Still from the research, more than half admitted that they avoid going on their days out, holidays and jollies during the school holidays so that they can be around to help look after their grandkids.

And though making their children’s lives easier (60%) and helping their children cut costs (35%) top the lists of reasons why grandparents are happy to step in, a traditional sense of family values and obligation is also a major motivation. Indeed more than a fifth (21%) of those questioned admitted to feeling guilty if they were not able to help look after their grandchildren.

The Skills of a Successful Grandparent

A sense of humour (77%), followed by patience (76%) and general knowledge (72%) top the polls when it comes to the skills and personality traits required to help the best grandparenting.

And grandparents’ help is appreciated - 9 out of 10 of grandparents questioned confirmed that they were regularly thanked for their help and support – and that this thanks is more than enough payment in return!

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