Grandparents want to be acknowledged for care
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > Grandparents want to be acknowledged for the care they provide: Survey

Grandparents want to be acknowledged for the care they provide: Survey

by Freya Lucas

May 13, 2024

Nearly 27 per cent of grandparents provide regular care to children – either their grandchildren or other children under 12 years of age – and they want to be acknowledged for their significant contribution, a new survey has found. 


While some enjoy caring for grandchildren, others do not, with the outcomes of the survey showing that the spectrum of feelings moves from a sense of fulfilment and joy to feelings of doubt and resentment. 


The survey, organised by National Seniors, sought to better understand how, from grandparents’ points of view, grandparenting should fit into the mix of child care provision in Australia.


Respondents say they believe child care is one of the major contributions they make to society, but that many feel unrecognised, despite the size of their in-kind economic contribution. 


Many grandparents shared that caring is a positive and desired experience. Participants’ comments included: 


“It is the best feeling to care for your grandchildren, love them to bits…” 


“… next year when J goes to high school, we will miss her. She is beautiful.” 


“We love caring for these little people. They add to our lives and we consider [this] a special time in all of our lives.” 


“We love interacting with grandchildren and their lives whenever possible.” 


“It is the best part of my twilight years. I have two amazing granddaughters and two amazing grandsons.” 


However, grandparents also expressed negative feelings associated with the physical or emotional distance between them and their grandchildren, and the expectations placed on them. 


Some people felt they were missing out and wanted more active grandparenting roles that led to closer relationships with their grandchildren. 


In other cases, the obligations and expectations associated with caring for grandkids brought about feelings of dread or resentment. Some felt they had no choice but to fulfil their children’s demands to provide care, sometimes at their own financial and emotional expense.


To read the survey results please see here. Information for this piece was first shared in National Seniors. Access the original here

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