ZERO TO THREE Grandparenting Films
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Share ZERO TO THREE’s grandparenting films and resources with the grandparents in your community by hosting a “movie night” (or day!). We have everything ready for you: A schedule for the event, group activities (with instructions!), promotional materials, a sample letter to invite community leaders, and take-home handouts for attendees.

The goals of this film screening and discussion program are:

  • To honor and celebrate the tremendous influence grandparents have on their grandchildren’s lives
  • To reflect on the joys and challenges of caring for grandchildren
  • To consider the ways in which caregiving has changed in the past few decades and provide resources for addressing those changes
  • To offer strategies for discussing typical child-rearing issues that arise between parents and grandparents
  • To convene a community of grandparents who can offer one another insight and mutual support

Grandparents who provide care by the numbers

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 1 out of 4 children under age 5 is cared for by a grandparent while parents work or go to school. Grandparents play a critical role in a fragile child care system in which care for children under the age of 5 is often unaffordable or unavailable.

According to ZERO TO THREE’s national survey of grandparents who provide regular child care, 98% love being a grandparent and 94% love their role as part-time caregiver. Although 8 out of 10 receive no financial compensation, they say they’re rewarded in many other ways—such as the ability to be present for and participate in their grandchild’s early years.

But not all is rosy, all the time. Two in 5 grandparents say caring for a grandchild is tiring, and 1 in 5 say it’s stressful.

Figuring out what’s best for a dearly loved grandchild can also be a challenge. In nearly half the families we surveyed, there’s disagreement between grandparents and parents over issues like managing challenging behavior, mealtimes, sleep, or use of screens. In families where three generations share a household, the percentage of grandparents who disagree with at least some parenting decisions rises to 57%.

And although 71% of the grandparents feel confident in caring for grandchildren based on their own experience as parents, 4 in 10 (41%) agree that new research about child development can help them do a better job. Almost a third (30%) wish they knew more about the brain development of young children.