It's no secret that the cost of raising a family in this day and age is astronomical. The latest figures put the cost of raising a child to the age of 18 at roughly $233,600. That's for one child, and that doesn't include helping to pay for college. That's an insane amount of money! Modern families are trying to juggle raising kids while dealing with rising housing costs, rising education costs, and stagnating wages. So how do people do it? Well, for a lot of people, the answer is with a lot of help.
Specifically, with help from their parents. Nearly all grandparents in this country, approximately 94%, provide some type of financial support when it comes to their grandchildren. This can come on the form of providing funds for a down payment on a house or helping with other housing costs, or providing financial help when it comes time to pay for college. And this financial assistance can also come in the form of childcare. Childcare is incredibly expensive, as all parents know. But we're not the only ones paying for it.
According to a 2018 AARP survey, grandparents in America spend about $179 billion a year on their grandchildren. But they're also contributing more than just money. Approximately 38% of grandparents in this country fill the role of babysitter or or daycare provider. When you think about it, it's just as valuable as money, especially since many, many families cannot afford to pay for regular childcare for their kids. In fact, about one in ten grandparents actually live in the same household as their grandchildren, and 5% of them are the primary caregivers.
Grandparents cover parents on sick days, school holidays, before and after school care, and so much more. They also provide peace of mind; parents don't have to agonize over leaving their kids with people they don't know or in daycare facilities they aren't comfortable with. They're able to leave their kids in the care of a trusted and loved family member.
If you're lucky enough to have your parents nearby and have them help out with their grandchildren, then you know just how valuable they are. And not just in terms of the time or money they save you, or the amount of financial assistance they provide. More and more, millennial families are multi-generational, and the whole family benefits from it.