After parents, grandparents and extended family often provide just as much unpaid child education and care, and are relied upon for flexible childcare. But the traditional role, where grandparents and family provide “occasional” care, is also changing. Some families rely on grandparents for regular child education and care. Arrangements do need to be thought out carefully. How much childcare should you provide? Whose rules should you follow, yours or the parents? Who is paying when you look after grandchildren? Make sure you commit to what you can do, and acknowledge your limits. Grandparents get tired easily, may have a health condition or could be looking after someone else as well, make sure you don’t overstretch anyone.
There is only one course in New Zealand specifically aimed to support grandparents through early childhood. The course is provided at The Parenting Place titled ‘Grandparents Raising Grandchildren’ and it is the best place to start for resources and advice.
This Grandparent Association site in the UK site has a useful checklist for you to go through.
Grandparentsplus, another UK site has questions to guide families and grandparents.
The Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust NZ helps support grandparents who have grandchildren living full time with them.