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Child carers keep it in the family

Grans and grandpas are bailing out families desperate for someone close to look after the kids, a study by the National Centre for Social Research has discovered.

More than half of all Scots children aged 11 and under had been cared for by their grandparents in the past year and a quarter of those aged seven and under had been looked after by grandparents in the past week. They are the most commonly used providers of child care.

"Relatives and friends were most likely to be chosen as providers because they were trustworthy, would shw the child affection and would look after the child in the same way as the parent," researchers Kerstin Hinds and Alison Park conclude.

Seventy per cent of working mothers would like to work fewer hours to spend more time with their children, or give up work and stay at home. A third of working mothers need the money. Three out of four mothers said bringing up children is as fulfilling as a having a paid job.

"Interchange 64: Parents' demand for childcare in Scotland" is available from www.scotland.gov.ukhmis edru.asp.

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