My daughter got pregnant as a teenager but still had ambitions of going to college. After careful thought and prayer, we agreed to raise him in her absence. We were among nearly 6 million grandparents who have grandchildren living with them.
Here are more numbers from the Census Bureau about grandparent caregivers:
4-out-of-10 grandparents are responsible for the youngsters basic care.
5.8 million, the number of grandparents who live with one or more of their grandchildren under 18 years old.
4 percent, the percentage of people age 30 and older who live with grandchildren. The rate is 8 percent among blacks and Hispanics.
2.5 million, the number of grandparents responsible for most of the basic needs, such as clothing, food and shelter, of one or more grandchildren with which they live.
21 percent, the percentage of preschoolers who are cared for primarily by their grandparents while their mother is employed or in school.
So how can grandparents impact their grandchildren's early education?
Help give them a healthy start: Make sure your grandchildren start off every day with a healthy breakfast and a good night’s rest. Immunizations help children stay healthy and prevent many diseases that might keep them out of school.
Empower your grandchildren early: Talk to them regularly, beginning when they are infants. Read books together every day, and spend time singing, dancing, and playing together.
Help your grandchildren feel safe by providing a home with consistent rules and love. When these basic needs are met, children will be more ready to concentrate on reading, writing, and arithmetic when they get to school.
Limit TV Time: Pay attention to what your grandchildren watch on TV. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no television for children under 2. For preschoolers, keep television watching to a minimum,and choose a few good-quality shows for children. If your grandchildren are watching TV, watch with them and talk about what they are watching
Talk positively about school: Let your grandchildren know that being old enough to go to school is exciting.
Take them to visit their new school before the first day. Talking positively can help children be enthusiastic about
school and learning.
Also, pick a daycare that emphasizes a school-type setting and ALWAYS find time to volunteer.