“Grandparents work hard!” says building society pandering to grandparents

Grandparents are brilliant, aren’t they? All woolen blankets, Werther’s Originals, purple rinse, old-timey wisdom, spirit of the blitz and all of those other warm, fuzzy clichés. Where would we be without them? You can’t put a price on the love and support a good, solid grandparent can give you. 

Or, rather, you absolutely can put a price on it, provided that you’re making that price up in order to get press coverage.

The £21,000 grandma: Grandparents who take on babysitting duties reduce the cost of childcare by a whopping £4,300 EVERY YEAR

They’re the unpaid babysitters that many parents couldn’t manage without. And now, their true value can be revealed as a new report has calculated exactly what grandparents are worth.

Thanks to long hours spent watching the grandchildren while their parents are at work, kindhearted grandparents can save families up to £4,300 annually – money that would otherwise have to have spent on professional childcare.

By the time the average youngster reaches school age, they will have been babysat by their grandparents for more than 5,610 hours, meaning their parents will have saved a whopping £21,654.60.

Source: Daily Mail, 18 January 2013

There we have it – your dear old grandma is worth about the same as a brand new Vauxhall Zafira, give or take. It’s not clear whether gran will depreciate in value quite as quickly, but then again that wasn’t really the point of the article.

The actual point of the article can be found when taking a quick peek at the originators of the survey:

Stacey Stothard, of Skipton Building Society, said: ‘As this study clearly indicates, modern day grandparents are an absolute god-send for working mums and dads…

‘Grandparents who look after their grandchildren in the family home are even on hand to help with the running of the home – helping to do household chores, as well as being in to sign for parcel deliveries and pay the window cleaner or milkman.

‘But with this flexibility and financial benefit for parents sometimes comes a feeling of obligation for grandparents.

The ‘research’ was paid for by Skipton Building Society, in order to promote their ‘Granny Economy’ campaign:

The campaign was created by their PR agency Band & Brown Communications, who commissioned the research through OnePoll (picked up by the Daily Mail with 71% of the copy used verbatim):

So what’s the real underlying point behind this story, other than pandering to the grey pound?

Jennifer Holloway, head of media relations at Skipton Building Society, added, “”But while the goodwill of grandparents can help control childcare costs, there are other areas where expenses are hard to avoid, such as paying for a child’s extra curricular activities or, in the longer-term, further education. It’s therefore critical that parents plan for their family’s future and make their money work for them, for example, by finding the best savings or mortgage rates, so that the pressure is relieved as much as possible, for both them and the grandparents.”

That would be a building society, reminding people that having the best available mortgage is a good idea.