24/03/2011 14:40 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Grandparents Saving Parents £12 Billion In Childcare Costs

Grandparents are typically spending over nine hours every week looking after their grandchildren, a new report claims.

The figures reveal a growing dependence on grandparent providing childcare - in 2009, grandparents were childing-minding for just five hours a week.

Insurer RIAS's survey found that 7.5 million grandparents look after their grand-kids on a regular basis, with most receiving no payment for doing so.

The survey also found that grandparents are splashing the cash with their grandchildren, with four out of 10 regularly contributing financially towards their children's children. This averages out at £90 a month, or 8 per cent of their monthly income, the poll found.

And whilst most grandparents are happy to give up their free time to babysit, saying it makes them feel younger, almost a third said they have had to put elements of their live on hold to do so.

Regionally, the survey found that Welsh grandparents provide the most amount of childcare and contribute more financially to the upbringing of their grandchildren, spending 13 hours each week providing childcare and saving their families £2,175 a year costs, as well as further boosting the coffers with £1,312 each year in financial support.

What do you think?
Do you rely on your parents to look after your kids?

Here, one mum sings the praise of her granny nanny.