Grandparents cutting work to care for kids

GRANDPARENTS are leaving the workforce early to help care for their grandchildren, with 70% changing shifts to help out.

A study by the University of New South Wales Social Policy Research Centre was released on Monday.

It found 55% of grandparents had cut their working hours and 18% had changed jobs to help look after their grandchildren.

The research funded by National Seniors also found a third of the 209 grandparents surveyed had changed their retirement plans to care for their grandchildren.

National Seniors chief Michael O'Neill said grandparents and their retirement incomes were being affected by problems in the childcare system.

He said a government inquiry into child care gave scant attention to seniors.

It also paid little attention to the effects on the mature-aged workforce and retirement incomes.

"Older Australians are stepping in to reduce cost of living pressures on their adult children," he said.

"But, ultimately, they just love spending time with their grandkids."

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