Childcare has been one of the biggest areas affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Now we look to intergenerational care as a possible solution.
Covid-19 has presented many problems for parents and children alike. Lockdowns have seen parents juggle working from home with childcare and homeschooling. Other cases have left essential worker parents without childcare solutions.
With many childcare settings being forced to close, after-school clubs running at reduced capacity, and working mums taking the brunt of the burden, the lack of childcare has now reached a crisis point. 46% of mothers being made redundant blame a lack of childcare provision, according to a landmark study of 20,000 working mothers.
Gap in the Market
Working mums are not the only negatively affected party. The number of over 50’s claiming Universal Credit has increased exponentially since the beginning of lockdown; in fact, this number has doubled. This age group is finding it more and more difficult to get back into work. However, a new intergenerational childcare service, Grandnanny, may be the solution.
Grandnanny is helping midlife+ people back into work and providing vital childcare solutions to working parents. The company matches working parents in need of childcare support with trusted mid-life and older neighbours with childcare experience. Beginning just before lockdown, the company aims to provide community connections, simplify childcare, and match mid-life adults with rewarding work.
During the pandemic, the social impact business has partnered with employment organisations such as Ingeus, Smart Works and Job Centre Plus to support jobseekers by providing free enhanced DBS checks, paediatric first aid and safeguarding training as well as ongoing community support and training on the job. As parents continue to juggle working from home, the company has been flooded with requests.
Win Win Win Scenario
Research by intergenerational charity, Generations United, has provided benefits for intergenerational programmes. This evidence includes improvements in mental and physical wellbeing for older participants. Additionally, there is evidence for improved age-empathy, development and psycho-social skills for children. Yet, unlike the US and Japan, the UK has been slow on the uptake.
Following Channel 4’s Documentary ‘Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds’, the UK is making progress. Aware of the benefits of intergenerational connections, the UK launched its first co-located nursery and nursing home in 2017. Grandnanny is the first organisation to provide midlife+ child-carers who work in the family home. Stephen Burke, Director, United for All Ages says: “Grandnanny…meets three big social needs. Providing childcare for families and flexible work for older people, while connecting three generations in their local community. A real win-win-win!”