The number of grandparents providing childcare has soared by nearly 50 per cent since 2009.
The figures are included in a report from RIAS which claims that more than 9 million regularly look after their grandchildren in some capacity.
Two thirds of grandparents now take care of their grandchildren for an average of 9 hours a week a free service which saves their children almost £2,000 per annum in child care costs, adding up to a staggering annual nationwide saving of £17.3 billion.
The report found that grandparents pay out around £88 a month by making financial contributions towards toys, clothing, pocket money and leisure activities.
This financial commitment is a costly affair for some, with one in five grandparent childminders to using their own savings or bank overdraft facilities.
Peter Corfield from RIAS, said: “As parents feel the pressures of everyday life, from increasing work commitments to rising childcare costs, it’s getting ever more important to have grandparents on hand to help out. Grandparents not only continue to play a vital life line for UK families, but also bring knowledge and experience that benefits generations. However they are not only contributing their time but often their savings too.
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