Do Grandparents Help With The School Run?

Do Grandparents Help With The School Run?
9 September 2016

Have you ever asked your parents or your partner's parent to help with the school run?

Research by Motor Insurance specialist, Churchill Insurance, suggests that grandparents are desperate to help on the school run, but parents don't feel that they can ask.

The survey revealed that 70 per cent of parents face difficulties getting their children to and from school, with one in two (51 per cent) saying that they'd feel uncomfortable asking their parents for help.

However, nine in ten (90 per cent) of all grandparents said that they would make sacrifices to their daily routine to help get their grandchildren to school safely.

So why the heck aren't we just asking the grandparents to help?

I can understand some people's reluctance to ask Granny or Grandad to step in when it comes to the school run - it does seem like a big ask if the grandparents are retired and out of the habit of being up and out first thing in the morning.

But I think it's a real shame parents feel like this; especially given that NINETY PER CENT of the grandparents surveyed said they would happily help.

My own parents routinely step into the breach when I'm struggling juggle working parenthood and, yes, they've even done the morning school run for me on occasions when a work trip makes it impossible for my husband or I to do it.

According to the survey, over half (60 per cent) of grandparents currently help out with the school run at least once a month, but many are willing to sacrifice more to help get their grandchildren to school safely more often – with over one-third (36 per cent) even willing to forego a hospital appointment to lend a hand.

And here's the weird bit - although parents admit to not feeling comfortable asking their own parents for help, 42 per cent say that they would actively encourage them to help out by becoming a lollipop man or woman.

The purpose of the research is part of a nationwide campaign by Churchill Insurance to place 50 Lollipoppers on school crossings throughout the UK. The campaign, launched earlier this year, aims to combat the diminishing number of crossing wardens following legislative change in 2000 meaning they are no longer a legal requirement.

Following over 50,000 nominations for over 6,000 primary schools to be provided with a Lollipopper, Churchill Insurance is now looking to recruit for the positions throughout the UK and has targeted grandparents as possible applicants for the role.

Beryl Quantrill, great-grandparent and Lollipopper for 52 years, said: "Even after 52 years on the school crossing, I still enjoy bringing joy to the faces of children every morning and afternoon – it gives me great satisfaction seeing them to safety.

"During my time on the crossing I've seen generations of children come and go, growing into young adults. It's an incredibly social job where you can build lasting relationships in the local community – from the children, to teachers and parents. I'd urge any grandparent contemplating the job to give it a go – school crossing patrols are an important service and an integral part of the local community!"

We'd love to hear your thoughts on this story. If your child's grandparents are the unsung heroes of your school run difficulties, tell us all about it. Or if you're one of those parents who think asking the grandparents to help with the school run is a step too far, come and tell us why.

You can leave us a comment below or join the conversation over on our Facebook page.

TOPICS:   Parents


  • Janet M.

    I'm a grandparent and love to do the school run .

  • Karen G.

    I think like any relationship honesty is the key. If parents need a hand they should feel comfortable asking and if grandparents feel put upon they should feel comfortable saying no. Personally, I only ask favours of those I know are happy to decline!

  • Sarah L.

    They don't see their grandchildren let alone help with childcare full stop. . Get more visits from my grandparents the children's great grandparents at 75 years old x

  • Marlena B.

    No grandparent here for me, I do school run, nursery run, two jobs and all housework. But I think if grandparents want to do it the why take away from them a little bit of happiness. But if they don't want to do it then is your children, your responsibility and you can do it no matter what x

  • Michelle E.

    My mum is my rock always there when I need her and will do anything for her grandchildren. X I am very lucky and blessed to have her. X

  • Cassy O.

    If only!! I'm so envious of people that have their parents to help out! Xx

    • Anna S.

      Me too. I don't work but would get a job instantly if I had someone I trust to volunteer to look after my kids!

  • Anna S.

    Really? My parents until recently have worked full time. I feel too guilty to ask my mum to look after my children if I got a job unless they offered. my parents looked after me for long enough! I feel like if they want to see their grandchildren they will ask. My husbands Dad hasn't seen us or my children in 5 years, so it's clear he doesn't want to see them.

  • Kimberlie R.

    Well neither of my parents bother with my son so I wouldn't give them the privilege to do it x

  • Julie F.

    No grandparent here to help me be nice have a minute off never mind a school run. Too buzy living there life's which I encourage just be nice they'd choose to do it cause they want to not cause I'd ask :confused:

  • Amy S.

    Only have my mum that bothers but she works full time and has 8 other grandchildren. I jus appreciate the fact that she bothers about them because my kids other grandparents couldnt care less!

    • Mariana B.

      My parents are at the end of my street and we see them most days. Because of my job im able to do the school run. If i need them they are always there to help. Like your kids, my kid doesnt see her other grandparents and they only live 6 doors along. It will be 2 years on Christmas day since they spoke to her. People like them dont deserve to be in our kids lives. I dont know about your kids, but my dd never asks for them either.

    • Amy S.

      Thats the way of thinkin im coming to aswell because it is stress and anger that doesnt get me anywhere because it will never change lol.. and yes that saying is very true lol

    • Mariana B.

      Theyre not worth the stress. It takes a while to realise it but its a great weight off your shoulders when you do

    • Amy S.

      Im nearly there lol.. thankyou :blush:

  • Bryony P.

    My mum, my Nan and DDs Grandad are regular lifesavers on school runs! Couldnt work without them :kissing_smiling_eyes:

    • Jenny E.

      Think of the brownie points we get though! Happy to help while we can xxxxx

  • Colette L.

    Yes, my Mum is brilliant!! We both work (my husband full time, me almost full time) my Mum drops of & collects are son from school 2 days a week plus has him for a day a week in the holidays :smiley:xx

  • Gaynor L.

    I would be lost without both sets of parents...all four are mine not in laws! I'm very very lucky as are my kids!

  • Helen J.

    I am a grandparent I moved towns to be closer to my two youngest grandchildren. I helped with my older two grandchildren now it's the younger two. I love having them , taking them to school and nursery. Quite sad school holidays are over as I have them less.:raising_hand:

  • Teresa R.

    I am lucky enough to have taken one to school. Would like the chance to do the same for the other one too


  • Rebecca B.

    My mum is fantastic. Couldn't ask fr a more supportive grandma to my children x

    • Liz G.

      What would we do without Grans? xx

  • Lynsey S.

    My Mam is always there to help out with the kids. Don't know what I would do without her!

  • Rhiannon S.

    everyone but our childrens grandparents then :joy::joy:

    • Gemma W.

      Haha! Emilys teacher asked me if anyone else would be picking her up....ummm no lol x

  • Emma H.

    are u desperate to be involved in the school run?? :joy::joy::joy:

  • Leanne C.

    nope - hubby parents work full time. my parents live 250 miles away.

  • Jackieandtony P.

    We are lucky grandparents who see all of our 5 grandchildren regularly and go on many holidays together.

  • Margaret F.

    Hoy i help out now and then and so does my car lol

  • Lauren N.

    Our children are blessed with absolutely amazing grandparents who help us out all the time and love spending time with all their grandchildren :kissing_heart:

    • Jill N.

      Wouldn't have it any other way. Love all our grandchildren to bits. Always makes our day to see them! Xxx

  • Lyndsay S.

    My parents are always happy to help if they can. We only live 3 streets apart and my kids are welcome there and stay over whenever they want. Both my parents still work but they are happy to have my kids. My mum said they grow up too fast and she will spend time with them at every opportunity she gets. My kids adore my parents and I wouldn't have it any other way. They do anything for us. X xx

  • Kathryn M.

    I wasn't having a go. I measly pointing out that it its not your job to do my job x

  • Rachel L.

    Grandparents if only!! I'm envious of the children that have their grandparents my kids don't unfortunately and have never had help!!

  • Samantha J.

    Im a childminder so i do every school run myself and work full time. Never ask for help, they work also. X

  • Margaret F.

    i know but spending time with my grand children is a pleasure what ever the reason

  • Zuzana H.

    No, apparently Inlaws are a grandparents not a carers I shall repay the favour when they need looking after in old age .... !!!

  • Lesley M.

    My dad does the nursery run pick up everyday as we also have the school run X

  • Nicola I.

    They do when they can if they aren't bust helping others but I feel proud I don't rely on them. He's my child after all.

  • Marie M.

    I do school pick up of my two granddaughters 2 days a week and look after 2 year old grandson too while mummy (my daughter) and daddy work, it works great for us all and I love being part of their school lives too, also we look after youngest granddaughter (18 months) 1 Day a week while daddy (my son) and mummy work :heart:

  • Paula B.

    I couldnt work without my fantastic parents doing the school run. My two adore their nan and grandad. I am genuinly grateful and lucky they only live a few doors away. , love you xxx

  • Shelley R.

    I wouldn't be able to work without the help of my fantastic mother in law for childcare. Nurseries for two is just too expensive! My parents both still work, but even then are happy to babysit every now and again. They've been a huge help recently as we were moving house, having the girls while we frantically painted

  • Moira B.

    I'm so lucky to have my three grand children living just around the corner, I do the school run and evening meals every day love them to bits. I'm thinking of ' adopting ' grandchildren when mine have grown up! lol!

  • Lisa W.

    My mum looks after my 3 yr old whilst I work and she also collects my 7 yr old from school afternoons a week. She will look after them any time I ask I just don't like to as I feel weekends are her time.

  • Wayne P.

    Why is it such a big thing in the U.K? it's normal for different generations of the same family to live together and help each other out in most countries in the world. #firstworldproblem

  • Roxi B.

    Nope & they don't want to either. Said they were glad when me and my brother finished school and they never had to do a school drop off/pick up ever again!

  • Jordan H.

    I will keep this in mind uman

  • kb1992

    both of my parents work, as do both of my partners parents otherwise they would all be very open to helping, now that our oldest girl has reached nursery age and the childminder doesn't do the run to our nursery, I've found myself taking a year out of university to be able to send her to the nursery of my choice.

    My own grandparents will give me the look of disappointment when they hear but hey they are my children and if I want to be there to take her to and from nursery and do what is best for her by going to the chosen nursery and be able to spend extra time with my other little girl then why can't I! 

  • Maria B.

    No hahahah:joy: well my mum lives far out so she couldn't

  • Sam M.

    if your desperate to help ,feel free to say any time! Haha

    • Vivienne B.

      Hahaha not a chance although if I didn't live so far away from school and you didn't live so near to it then it would be different

    • Sam M.

      I can bring her through no problem ;)xx

    • Vivienne B.

      No buses that early , shame :wink:

  • Viki F.

    Think we must just be really unlucky! :joy::joy::joy::joy:

  • Becca G.

    I will keep this in mind :joy:

  • Tara M.

    I wish my mother in law lived closer, she is amazing, my mum has such a busy social life it doesn't work out to well with her :-(

  • Anna M.

    I don't agree that grandparents should be stand in parents. Helping out is a lovely thing and can be enjoyable for the kids and grandparents.

  • Maria S.

    My parents live abroad (as I am not English) and I miss them so much. Especially my mum who could help and love to help with my children sometimes when I need! Only making a dr.appointment is hard work as I always had to think who could watch them for me. My children miss their grandparents. You are so lucky if you have family (mum and dad) round the corner so appreciate it! Especially the ones who are helping because its so much harder without them but it makes us stronger I guess. :)

  • Kim F.

    I sometimes watch my grandkids I enjoy having them

  • Nicola S.

    My parents and inlaws do all of our child care including nursery runs. I work shifts and my other half is out the house 12 hours most days with the commute to work. Without the help of our parents we would not be able to work and we are grateful for all they do for us xx

  • Julia C.

    No both sets think half a mile walk is too far for them despite being healthy and well able. Therefore they have never seen my kids school.

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