Allow grandparents/family members as childcare

Allow grandparents especially those who are under the age of 70 with no underlying health conditions or similarly older to look after their grandchildren again.

Why the contribution is important

This will aid mental health for all and allow parents/carers to work during work hours and not have to work when children are in bed.
It isnt practical to work from home with young children around, made harder if you are a single parent or 2 parents trying to work office hours.

by MG1983 on May 05, 2020 at 02:20PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.5
Based on: 126 votes


  • Posted by Sue24 May 05, 2020 at 14:22

    Absolute common sense.
  • Posted by Emz18181 May 05, 2020 at 14:24

    Will be essential if people are told to go back to work before schools/nurseries open and they have children, jobs will be more at risk otherwise.
  • Posted by kmketer May 05, 2020 at 14:25

    Would help parents trying to work from home with small children around. Better for the mental health of all concerned.
  • Posted by bigsalmon May 05, 2020 at 14:28

    Using age as a cut for any activity older family members is not very scientific. As has been discussed on many ocassions by the scienctific and medical advisers their are many very fit and healthy older people and they should not be prevented from seeing grandchildren or other family members. Age is not a definition of vulnerability and so setting rules arbitrarily is unwise.
  • Posted by CarolConnell May 05, 2020 at 14:34

    This is absolutely needed now, parents are beginning to crumble from the sheer pressure of full time working from home and trying to be a teacher as well as a parent. It can be done especially when many grandparent(s) were already caring for children and where there has be no contacts with others, either from the children or grandparent - I believe it can be done safely. The other thing is that when we, compliant people, observe others breaking the rules, seemingly regularly, it sticks in the throat and may well tempt some to break the rules.
  • Posted by BBL May 05, 2020 at 14:34

    Lockdown is putting stress on families, especially with a lone parent. A grandparent assisting could give a parent a much needed break and improve children's well being.
  • Posted by Ann May 05, 2020 at 14:36

    If grandparents are the child care providers this should be allowed to continue if parents and grandparents are happy to do so.
  • Posted by Donald May 05, 2020 at 14:44

    Grandparents are often in the vulnerable group or over 70, so would not work in all situations.
  • Posted by Eileen May 05, 2020 at 14:47

    Totally agree with all of the other comments. My family at present utilise hub school and nursery as both key workers and their local authority operates 8-6 opening as they both pharmacists. When restrictions mean no hub and nursery then as a grandparent will be needed. Happy to go from home to school and home
  • Posted by Dogsbody May 05, 2020 at 14:53

    This needs to be done now to ease the stress on parents. Many grandparents are under 70 and fit and healthy.
  • Posted by Mck2019 May 05, 2020 at 15:15

    Mental health will be the next major epidemic in our country. For parents, children and grandparents this will serve as a starting point to release stress and anxiety. Whilst allowing people to return to work during ongoing closure of schools / nurseries.
  • Posted by ABM May 05, 2020 at 15:21

    This must happen ASAP. This allows not only Grandparent Childcare, but the return to work for Parents and normality for the children. No Grandparent is going to jeopardise the health of their family (or themselves) by undertaking childcare duties if there is a chance of transmission.
  • Posted by Chavez May 05, 2020 at 15:24

    Totally agree.
    We have worked at home for 6 weeks with no symptoms yet our daughter is struggling with her new baby.
  • Posted by asmiller May 05, 2020 at 15:40

    All round win win for all concerned.
    Some precautionary guidelines required.
  • Posted by Gamble May 05, 2020 at 15:40

    Totally agree that this should be allowed as long as family are sensible and self isolate should any member show symptoms
  • Posted by alloha May 05, 2020 at 15:46

    The only problem with this idea is that it's too sensible :)
  • Posted by LB2605 May 05, 2020 at 15:49

    I agree.

    It should be possible for grandparents to provide childcare if they are not socialising with anyone else and live close by.
    It really worries me that my son (17 months old) is not interacting with anyone other than myself and my husband and with us both working full time it is increasingly difficult to provide childcare.
  • Posted by SueHLawrence55 May 05, 2020 at 16:06

    This idea makes such sense and obviates the need for Nurseries to reopen too soon
  • Posted by Rachel_T1502 May 05, 2020 at 16:13


  • Posted by MaddyBisset May 05, 2020 at 16:19

    My partner works 24 hour shifts in the care sector, I am also currently working from home but am expected to do so with a 13 month old baby. We relied on my parents for childcare before the lockdown when we are working and now I'm struggling mentally trying to juggle looking after our baby and work all by myself when my partner is out.

    Just like LB2605's comment above I am really worried about how this will affect my child's development given that he is seeing no one but ourselves, and is also having to stare at screens to see his grandparents - something which I really didn't want for a one year old.

    Easing the lockdown to allow access to grandparents would help with childcare, child development, mental health and a strain on my relationship. I know not seeing their grandchild is also severely affecting my partner's parent's mental health.
  • Posted by Mundoroz May 05, 2020 at 17:17

    I support this idea.
  • Posted by Pjs2020 May 05, 2020 at 17:28

    Only if they do not need to use public transport to look after try child/children otherwise creating un nesessary exposure to risk
  • Posted by Patlawrence May 05, 2020 at 17:53

    This is a safe and practical way to provide childcare to enable the parents to return to work, or work more productively at home. With lockdown in place, and the nurseries unavailable to the children of the non-essential workers, this is the only alternative.
  • Posted by Interfaithscotland May 05, 2020 at 18:58

    Definitely a good idea
  • Posted by DevVeh May 05, 2020 at 19:29

    I suppose it all depends if you are comfortable increasing the risk of your parents
  • Posted by HSGLarch May 05, 2020 at 20:07

    Agree. Parents working from home (some solo) are burning out trying to work and care for their children. We need informal childcare to resume if we are to sustain working from home for a prolonged period.
  • Posted by coa May 05, 2020 at 20:47

    Providing grandparents have no underlying health issues, this is definitely worth considering. I have no idea how parents can work effectively from home while looking after young children or home schooling older ones.
  • Posted by ljk84 May 05, 2020 at 21:15

    totally agree
  • Posted by Scot1234 May 05, 2020 at 22:37

    Completely agree with this. Please, as a parent, can we have support. We MUST consider the mental health impact as well as the physical health impact.
  • Posted by Feemcfa May 05, 2020 at 23:16

    agree this makes sense and would be extremely welcome
  • Posted by maureensmokey May 05, 2020 at 23:25

    With staggered working hours being an option . Grandparents will be needed to look after kids while their parents are at work , so would support this idea
  • Posted by BenNevis May 06, 2020 at 09:40

    Our son and daughter-in-law can both work from home which is great but with a five year old and three year old their days start around 6am and end around 11pm since they need to stagger their work commitments with childcare commitments. Granddaughter has now taken to waking up three times a night requiring mum to settle her down again. Work project commitments has also seen them working much of Saturday and Sunday on several weekends recently. They're not complaining but this won't be possible on an ongoing basis so allowing grandparents to help, in the appropriate circumstances, is a good idea. Grandparents can look after their grandchildren, even on a part-time basis, giving parents some space to work more reasonable hours.

    What I'm unsure of is what would happen when the children return to school/nursery. This obviously would increase risk to grandparents but the stress on parents would, clearly, be substantially less given the children wouldn't be in the home for much of the day.
  • Posted by islajsmillie May 06, 2020 at 10:46

    Not all children are confident in new places or situations, intensified by the current change of routine for all kids being out of school. The hubs are a great idea for older kids, but has anyone considered the mental impact on a small child being thrown into a nursery/ hub in a building they don't know with teachers and carers they have never met. I defy anyone to say they would be happy to leave their child distressed at a hub to be mixing with children from different families (who all will have different levels of compliance to lockdown restrictions) rather than have them safe with grandparents who have been abiding the lockdown rules. My husband and I are both key workers and the stress of childcare is just not needed ontop of everything else
  • Posted by Ian4031 May 06, 2020 at 12:34

    If grandparents and grandchildren have been isolating and observing social distancing rules for the last six weeks I see no reason to stop them seeing each other and helping out with childcare now.

    Another few weeks in isolation will not make a difference. The FM wants to treat us like adults this would go a long way to helping parents who are working from home and give grandparents and grandchildren a mental boost.
  • Posted by Brett May 06, 2020 at 13:48

    Parents who have been at work will increase the risk of exposure to grandparents.

    This could be an extension to the household bubble, but shouldn't be a government directive. Grandparents are more vulnerable and shouldn't feel pressured to be put themselves at increased risk.

    Many grandparents so provide free childcare and would love to be able to do so. An alternative would be more desirable in the medium term.

    Continued furlough of one parent/guardian or single parent/guardian. Encouraging employees to allow those without childcare to remain furloughed or offer flexible working. Essentially enabling part time furlough where employer pays a proportion of salary for work undertaken and the government the remainder up to a set limit. This could be anything from a three day week to week on week off.

  • Posted by HPorter May 06, 2020 at 14:44

    Totally agree with this. I’ve been saying from the start that as long as grandparents are under 70 and have no medical concerns and are also adhering otherwise to social distancing then this is far safer and also practical child care solution for key workers whose shift patterns do not follow provisions currently in place.
  • Posted by jrob May 06, 2020 at 15:12

    Completely agree.
  • Posted by Pandamamma May 06, 2020 at 18:04

    Agree 100%, without nurseries and schools being open at the moment there will be no other way for a lot of parents to return or continue to work successfully
  • Posted by Patience48 May 06, 2020 at 21:07

    Totally agree with this and would say if your family have to return to work or get back to their normal hours ,this has to be a priority
  • Posted by John_Taylor May 06, 2020 at 22:51

    An excellent idea with many benefits. Parents will have more freedom to return to work. Grandchildren will be looked after by people they know and trust and grandparents will reconnect with family on a social and emotional level.

    I can't see a downside.
  • Posted by BarbaraAnnGrigor May 06, 2020 at 23:28

    Absolutely 100% agree and this has to happen sooner rather than later.
  • Posted by christine72 May 07, 2020 at 07:20

    Agreed especially as evidence seems to indicate that children may not be spreading this disease/as quickly. I would support this as a next step - ie ‘families can now ask grandparents/other family members to support childcare’ - rather than the unworkable ‘bubble’ approach suggested which seems open to abuse.
  • Posted by DAC May 07, 2020 at 09:09

    The mental well being of both children and especially grandparents will be improved. Any fit grandparent regardless of age should be able to visit and /or care for grandchildren allowing parents to return to work , better work from home or simply take the strain off parents.

    As many children are showing signs of anxiety wider family contact will help these issues by bringing a little bit of normality back.

    Sensible observance of other restrictions would be expected of course
  • Posted by cathygunn May 07, 2020 at 11:10

    This is important to reduce social isolation and support parents needing to get back to work.
  • Posted by MPBinEd May 07, 2020 at 11:11

    Absolutly! And I would add extended family (Uncles & Aunties as well)! They are all keen to reestablish connections and everyone healthy so if this can be done in a safe 'bubble' type arrangement with a few households (2-3 to start and expanding wider later) this would be great! Kids need this, parents need this (especially those trying to work from home) and grandparents/extended family are missing the connection too!!
  • Posted by RichieBisset May 07, 2020 at 11:35

    my daughter and her partner are both in jobs which are considered key, education and care respectively, but have a one year old.

    They were exhausted at the best of times but with the addition to all of their support network being pulled out from under them even more so now. For all the massive effirts they are making, the combination of them both being exhausted and not seeing anyone else will undoubtably have a detrimental effect on my grandchild’s development if it continues much longer.

    All of the grandparents are lucky not to be in any at risk groups so surely it’s common sense to let us help with some of the burden and offer childcare from time to time.
  • Posted by WorkingGlasgowMum May 07, 2020 at 13:54

    This could help especially front line workers who have fears about sending their children to nursery or school.

    Also most people are shielding their children and only letting them play in the garden or go out for walks/exercise. If grandparents and children have been shielding then let them see each other. This would need to be limited to 1 ore 2 families for those with larger families.

    Over 70s should be allowed to make decisions on whether or not their children and grandchildren are responsible enough to be included in their social bubble
  • Posted by Kimmi May 07, 2020 at 14:30

    Allow the most vulnerable to be babysitters and have households mixing ?
    Yeah if we want to make more people ill then this is the way to go
  • Posted by LisaPettRenn May 07, 2020 at 18:31

    Agree with this idea, as current restrictions are putting immense pressures on working parents. My husband is a key worker and I am working from home with a primary school ASN child and a toddler. Stress levels are at a maximum throughout and productivity at ultimate low as something has to give.
    I agree that it should be restricted to Grandparents under the risk age of 70 and would propose that further safety measures could be considered as inspired by another proposal for childminders, that temperatures are taken and sensible approach in regards to, if anyone showing symptoms then contact must halt immediately and isolation for all.
  • Posted by HazelAnne May 07, 2020 at 20:53

    Absolutely agree. I have multiple members of my family that could support me with my young son (sister, grandparents) who are not in the high risk group who are working at home that could help give me a break, I am struggling badly and need this.
  • Posted by lmac8355 May 07, 2020 at 23:33

    I worked full time until I retired at 60 and then looked after my granddaughter every day for the past five years. I haven't seen her in person since lockdown and her mum and dad both work from home. I get shopping delivered by a supermarket to avoid people infecting me. My son in law shops for their family once a week and is very careful to go in quiet times and observe social distancing. It would be a great help to them if my granddaughter could have some time during the day going for a walk or playing outside in the garden with me.
  • Posted by Ydad May 08, 2020 at 06:51

    Good news for kids
    Good news for parents
    Good news for grand parents

  • Posted by HazelG2020 May 08, 2020 at 08:25

    This would allow working from home or returning to work more manageable.
  • Posted by GrannyMargaret May 08, 2020 at 11:27

    My daughter in law is a key worker so has been working during this period. My son is currently on Furlough so is able to care for our 5 year old granddaughter. If our son is told to go back to work there will be no one to care for our granddaughter as both parents have to be at work by 6a.m. so hubs for key workers children is of no use to them They rely on us for all childcare so please consider grandparents being able to care for grandchildren as long as they are fit and healthy which we are. We are in our mid 60's and cycle over 100 miles a week. Not all grandparents or over 60's are unfit and a risk to others.
  • Posted by JackieH May 08, 2020 at 16:01

    This would be beneficial for all concerned mentally and physically
  • Posted by CrammondA May 08, 2020 at 16:24

    Common sense. My son and daughter in law are absolutely exhausted trying to keep everything going without my help. I would never do anything to endanger my family. Please let us see the grandchildren in order to help the country get back to work safely.
  • Posted by Maddie70 May 08, 2020 at 16:46

    I agree if no one has symptoms and are not in social contact with anyone else how would this increase the R number
  • Posted by IndyScot1000 May 08, 2020 at 17:56

    it’s a natural thing to want to do, this is probably one of the hardest restrictions emotionally, but I think if we manage to hold out a bit longer it will be safer in the long run.
  • Posted by roxburs May 09, 2020 at 00:10

    If grandparents who are under 70 and fit and healthy and are normally carers of grandchildren then they should be allow to continue this to allow to do this to allow parent(s) to work. In our situation the parent is a single parent and a key worker (social worker with vulnerable children) and has to work from home and limited to what she can do because under the current rules there is no one to look after the kids. One of the kids is only 2 and cannot go to a key worker school, the nearest one being miles away anyway. Child cover is required to 9pm because of shift work associated with the job and no schools are open this late.

    Healthy grandparents can help get Scotland back to work.
  • Posted by scotchick May 09, 2020 at 10:57

    This is having to happen just now for families who are key workers who need family members to look after their children to allow them to go to work especially if they work shifts, as schools/nurseries which are open for key workers children, are not open 24/7 ( I am not in any way suggesting they should be)
  • Posted by Wulan19 May 09, 2020 at 15:14

    One of the reasons they believe Italy infections were so high was inter-generational contact. All older people even those in the 60s are increased risk of serious complications or death. Grandparents will put their families first before themselves, or feel pressured/obliged. At this time it needs to work the other way, you need to put your elderly relatives needs first. If your having trouble working from home speak to your employer. I know mine was very understanding.
  • Posted by johnxsmith2019 May 10, 2020 at 13:27

    Yes- soon there will be no option.

    Many cant handle not seeing grandchildren to other parents having work to go back to with no school or childcare.
  • Posted by GSS May 10, 2020 at 13:44

    Completely agree , important for grandparents, working parents and grandchildren who are all less stressed by caring for each other
  • Posted by GSS May 10, 2020 at 13:47

    I would have given this a higher rating bug for the 'under 70' part. Healthy over 70's should be included.
  • Posted by LesFraser53 May 10, 2020 at 15:07

    I feel that providing that all parties are fit and well this idea has merit once R is below 0.5.
  • Posted by DLG May 10, 2020 at 15:26

    With all the uncertainty surrounding the likelihood of schools needing to stagger and limit the number of children in school it would be helpful if grandparents and close family can help with childcare if they are well and healthy and staying safe.
  • Posted by HarryWillis May 10, 2020 at 16:55

    This should be allowed on the grounds that childcare by grandparents is a fundamental arrangement which underpins families with two working parents. Without this arrangement, many families face difficulties for which there is no affordable alternative.
  • Posted by YG May 10, 2020 at 20:26

    This is an urgent matter. I wont add to what others have said well already. But on issues of human right to family life, and the rights of the child, to deprive families of this support based on a characterisation of grandparents as vulnerable is highly questionable. More pragmatically, the more family/social units are able to support themselves to function well, the more they can support themselves to maintain the important public health messages of hygiene and social distancing.
  • Posted by jeankemp May 11, 2020 at 02:12

    I don't think this would be a very good idea at this moment in time, but once the R number is reduced and the Test, Trace and Isolate strategy is fully implemented then these arrangements would be safer.
  • Posted by Erikasama May 11, 2020 at 12:19

    As long as the grandparents are under 70 and have no underlying health issues this is a great idea. I don't have kids myself but I can't imagine how stressful working from home and trying to school and look after kids at the same time is.
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