STILL CARING: Grandparents are increasingly taking on the role of carers for their grandchildren.
STILL CARING: Grandparents are increasingly taking on the role of carers for their grandchildren. Maria Teijeiro

Granny brigade rides to rescue

WITH the cost of childcare rising more Coffs Coast parents are turning to the grandparents for assistance in a bid to save much needed time and money.

The Coffs Harbour Economic Profile (CHEP), using data from the 2016 Census, shows 4,806 people in the city provide unpaid care for children other than their own.

Many of these unpaid carers are grandparents and now new data from comparison site Mozo has found that across Australia, 22 per cent of grandchildren receive some form of care from their grandparents.

Those carers are clocking an average of 58 hours or the equivalent of $517 monthly in childcare costs.

Mozo director Kirsty Lamont said as the cost of living continues to rise and wage growth stagnates, it's little wonder many parents are turning to their parents as a childcare solution.

"When you look at the sheer magnitude of contribution from grandparents it indicates for some families the cost of childcare is tipping finances over the edge," she said.

"Each month grandparents across Australia contribute the equivalent of $328 million in childcare costs."

Research found the overwhelming majority of grandparents - 98 per cent - charge no money for the care of their grandchildren.

A growing number are taking over the primary care role due to family breakdowns, substance abuse or other social factors.