The legal needs of older people ( 2004 ) Cite this report
Grandparents can be involved in their grandchildren’s lives in a variety of ways.
According to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data, in 1999 grandparents were the main providers of informal childcare with 37 per cent of children under the age of 12 receiving informal child care, more than half of which was provided by grandparents.2 They were more likely to be the informal carers of very young children than older children.3 Increasing reliance on grandparents for informal care arrangements correlates with women’s increasing participation in the workforce. Indeed, ABS data show that for both formal and informal care, the reasons most commonly given for placing children in care were work-related.4
Formal childcare can be costly, particularly for economically disadvantaged families. Informal care by grandparents has become more popular over the years. Problems can arise, however, when for some reason the situation changes.