Grandparents: Sharing the Care

For many families with children under 5, grandparents fill a critical need for infant-toddler child care that is trusted, affordable, and accessible.

Grandparents talked. We listened. They described caring for their grandchildren as a happy “do-over” that gave meaning to their lives. And they felt more relaxed, confident, and patient the second time around.

In 2011, 4.8 million infants, toddlers, and preschoolers in the U.S. were cared for by grandparents while parents worked or attended school. That’s 24% of all children under 5, approximately the same number of children enrolled in formal child care programs.

In 2017, with support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, ZERO TO THREE conducted focus groups with grandparents to learn more about the joys and challenges of “sharing the care.” These resources were developed to share what was learned, with information designed both for grandparents and for organizations that serve grandparents and young families. (Disponible en español.)

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The Grandparent Guide