GRANDPARENTS are saving working parents $2.29 billion per year in childcare.
A new analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics data by comparison website finder.com.au shows almost 900,000 children between 0-12 are cared for by their grandparents instead of attending daycare.
According to the research, almost a quarter of kids aged four and under (23%) are looked after by their grandparents instead of attending childcare.
Parents opting for grandparent care just two days a week could be saving $6,344 per child each year. With 361,000 children aged under five in Australia being informally looked after by their grandparents, that’s a total of $2.29 billion per year in daycare alone being saved.
Millions more could be saved through grandparents picking up kids from school, jumping in to stay at home with the kids when they’re sick and even helping out with homework.
A separate survey of 2085 people found 45 per cent believe grandparents should be paid for babysitting.
The website's money expert Bessie Hassan said a growing number of parents were turning to grandparents because they couldn't afford or access traditional childcare.
"For many families, traditional childcare is a significant financial burden," she said.
"The cost of daycare can be a deterrent for parents returning to work - with childminding eating away at a huge chunk of their earnings."
Ms Hassan said grandparent care also had benefit for the children.
"There are some life lessons that only grandparents can teach us and they often have less commitments to juggle so it can be a very special relationship. Hopefully the grandparents get something out of it too."