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London - They’re the emergency babysitters called upon to help out hard-working mums and dads in school term-time when things get a bit hectic.
Now grandparents are putting in extra shifts during their grandchildren’s school holidays – and are even taking the youngsters away with them.
Over a third of the 1,000 families questioned in a survey admitted they depend on grandparents to look after youngsters in the school holidays to save on the cost of childcare.
It also found that one in four grandparents go on holiday with their grandchildren.
Researchers said the results revealed the extent to which families depend on grandparents for childcare during the school breaks – as well as treats such as holidays – which many parents can’t afford in the current economic climate.
The survey also discovered that budget trips such as camping and caravanning holidays were among the most popular.
They said the results pointed to a new phenomenon dubbed “gramping” – when grandparents go camping.
The survey’s authors said that as well as helping out their hard-pressed children, grandparents are also looking to relive their own childhood holidays and rekindle fond memories with the next generation.
Separate research by the Camping and Caravanning Club reported an eight percent increase in bookings made by people over the age of 55 this year, many of whom have taken their grandchildren with them.
And figures from the annual UK Tourism survey revealed how spending by older people on camping rose by 20 percent, while researchers Mintel said one in five over-65s have taken a camping or caravanning holiday in the past three years.
Paul McClenaghan of Halfords, which commissioned the survey, said: “We know that many people have nostalgic memories of camping trips when they were growing up so it’s natural that grandparents want to pass on the enjoyment of a holiday under canvas to their grandchildren.” - Daily Mail