One in four mothers would have to give up work if they didn't have grandparents to look after their children, a new study reveals.
A survey of 1,000 adults by the charity Grandparents Plus found an increasing reliance on grandparents to help with childcare.
Only 7% of parents said they did not rely on their mother or father to have their children while they worked.
Just over half of those questioned said they would want a grandparent to step in if they were unable to be at home with their child, and two-thirds supported grandparents being able to ask for unpaid leave to help with childcare.
Lucy Peake, chief executive of Grandparents Plus, said: "The summer holidays can be a really tricky time for working parents, and this poll shows just how reliant we are on grandparents stepping up to look after the children. It also shows how crucial they are to keeping women in the labour market, especially with childcare costs rising.
"What we can't afford to do is take them for granted, and recognising how reliant we are on them is the first step to making sure that doesn't happen.
"With rising retirement ages, we have to be realistic that many grandparents will still be working, so supporting them to juggle both work and childcare is going to be absolutely key."