Grandparental involvement in child-rearing and childcare

Kirstine Hansen, University of London
Denise Hawkes, University of London
Heather Joshi, University of London

In Britain, the last fifty years have seen large increases in the number of women in the labour market. For most mothers with young children, employment requires finding an alternative source of childcare. Evidence from the Millennium Cohort Study suggests the most popular form of non-maternal childcare is provided by grandparents. There is a largely unresolved debate about the effect that non-maternal childcare has on child outcomes, but in a number of recent studies it was in the families who relied on care provided by grandmothers where adverse outcomes were observed. This research examines the important role that grandmothers play in providing childcare and tries to unpick what it is about grandparent care that is associated with child outcomes, and to understand the social and demographic circumstances in which active grandparenting is more likely.

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Presented in Session 21: Parenting and child-care