Laurel Hunt says babysitting can be exhausting.
Laurel Hunt says babysitting can be exhausting. Contributed

Grandma doesn’t want pay rise but some deserve it

FOR Yeppoon's Laurel Hunt, looking after a child in his "terrible twos" can be exhausting.

The grandmother occasionally baby-sits her daughter's two-year-old son while she is away on work commitments, sometimes for 10 days at a time.

Reflecting on comments by Senator Glenn Lazarus, in which he said grandparents should be financially rewarded for looking after children of working parents, Laurel had mixed feelings.

"I think in some places where child care is not readily available, or you can't get in, or it just doesn't exist, and grandparents have to look after the child, because these days both parents have to work to keep a roof over their heads... I think in those circumstances, grandparents should be paid for what they do," she said.

"But where it is available I wouldn't look for payment.

"It is an amazing time to be with a child. I love it and I love teaching him things because he absorbs thing like a sponge, but I don't want to do it full-time... we are always exhausted after a week."

Mr Lazarus's recommendation was written off by Treasurer Scott Morrison when he said governments weren't considering paying people for "doing the normal thing".

Similarly, Laurel said she would like to see an increase in payments not for grandparents, but for child care.

"What I would like to see is an increase in properly trained people who look after them," she said.

"The child care workers are some very low paid people, as are teachers, and it seems to me that our values of society are upside down when we give out most precious things to people who aren't paid very much.

"I was just watching the way he (grandson) is when he does go to daycare; he talks about people by name and is quite happy to go there. It does give them good social interaction which they don't get if they are home with grandpa and grandma."



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