The Parent Trap: how millions of UK parents feel ‘trapped’ into living near grandparents

With grandparents stepping in to help reduce the cost of childcare, millions of parents are finding themselves feeling trapped in locations close to granny and granddad.

UK parents are stuck in a ‘parent trap’ and feel forced to live near to their children’s grandparents in order to get help with childcare, according to our latest research. Our data of 2,000 UK parents with children under the age of 13, found that half (50%), live less than five miles from their child’s nearest grandparent and seven in 10 (68%) live within a 30 minute journey.  Yet this may not always be by choice. More than half (57%) rely on childcare support from at least one grandparent (rising to 72% of those living within 30 minutes of their nearest grandparent).

This support is particularly crucial for parents who have children under school age. Although 18% of parents in this category who receive more than 10 hours a week of grandparent support say that they prefer grandparents looking after their children, the financial stretch required to swap to professional childcare is clear for the remaining 82%.

These parents believe they would need to increase their personal incomes by an average of £8,055 a year in order to be able to forgo free childcare. Many are even having to put their own home owning aspirations on hold to get free childcare support.

Whilst some put their moving aspirations on hold, others make a conscious decision to move closer to grandparents after having children. Nearly two in five (19%) parents said that, since having children, they had moved closer to grandparents, whilst 11% are currently planning to move.

Over the summer holidays, grandparents increase their weekly support by 26% – from 9 hours a week on average to 11.3 hours weekly. Some parents even admit to asking their parents or parents-in-law if they will move closer to help with childcare support.

Of all the parents surveyed, 28% had discussed moving homes with their children’s grandparents to be closer for childcare reasons. Of those, a notable 31% have had a parent or parent-in-law move house to be closer to help with childcare.

Parents agreed that on average, around seven miles away was the ideal distance to live from a grandparent – close enough to be on hand for regular support, but far enough away that they would not drop in constantly and unannounced.

The research also showed that many parents make do with little to no familial support, with 32% receiving no childcare support from grandparents or any further relations.

Blog 2- 17th June 2024

Bank of England keeps interest rates at 5.25%: what does it mean for you?

Here’s how the interest rate staying the same could impact your mortgage, whether you’re a homeowner or property investor.

For the sixth time, the Bank of England (BoE) announced that the base rate will remain the same, staying at 5.25%*.

So, what does this mean for you? Let’s take a deep dive into the current mortgage market to help you understand what’s going on, what it means for your mortgage – and what you can do.

What is the Bank of England (BoE) base rate?

Set by the BoE, the base rate is a benchmark for the cost of borrowing money. It is important for you to understand because mortgage lenders base the rates they charge on it. So, if the BoE increases the base rate, it will inevitably increase the cost of borrowing. On the flip side, if they decrease the rate, it could decrease the cost of borrowing.

In the current case, as the base rate has remained the same, it may be a good time to review your mortgage options.

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee sets interest rates, known as the Bank of England base rate. The Bank of England base rate is now 5.25% (correct as at May 2024)*

I am a landlord – what does this mean for me?

If you’re a landlord with a tracker or variable rate mortgage, the base rate staying the same will usually also mean that your repayments will stay the same.

Will interest rates remaining the same mean lower house prices?

It’s difficult to tell. The increase or decrease in house prices very much depends upon the supply and demand of property. Although we’ve experienced a record house price growth over recent years, the recent higher inflation rates and the cost of living has also affected house prices.^ To understand how the base rate may have affected your property’s value, it’s best to get an up-to-date valuation.

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