Almost every busy parent knows that feeling of relief you get when you drop your child off at their grandparents’ house, and you’re finally able to run those errands, or attend that meeting. Thought of almost like a free day-care centre, grandparents are no stranger to playing house with the kids every once in a while, but now that ‘one in a while’ is becoming more and more frequent.

According to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today, Grandparents provide child care to almost one-third of children with working parents. This number is increased from the June 2014 statistics, where 30% of children received care from a grandparent.

“31 per cent of children received child care from a grandparent in these families,” said Patrick Corr from the ABS, “Also, one-fifth of children in these families received care from a parent who lives elsewhere.”

The data also (unsurprisingly) revealed that working mothers and fathers were more likely to opt for some form of child care for their youngest child, over non-working parents.

“In families where the youngest child attended some form of child care, 76 per cent of female parents and 94 per cent of male parents worked,” Mr Corr added, “This is compared with 45 per cent and 88 per cent respectively in families where the youngest child did not attend care.”

However, between mothers and fathers, mothers were far more likely to entrust their child into childcare using ‘alternative work arrangements’ than men.

“The report found more female parents than male parents use alternative work arrangements to care for their children," said Mr Corr, “with 71 per cent of women compared with 41 per cent of men using these arrangements. The most common arrangements used by female parents were flexible work (39 per cent), part time work (38 per cent) and work at home (19 per cent).”

This data comes after Tony Abbott’s announcement today that police, nurses, firefighters and other shift workers will receive government subsidies to hire nannies.

At least it’ll give Nanna and Grandad a break.