Just under one in six (13 per cent) of parents polled said they would happily pay more tax to ensure free nursery care, according to new research published by education website MyEd.com.
The survey of more than 1,300 parents conducted by YouGov, also revealed that for one in four parents, the cost of a full-time nursery place is greater than the extra income earned by working.
The report highlights the childcare cost crisis, which is particularly serious in London. Overall, a quarter of parents cited nursery fees as the main concern in the household. In the capital, this figure rises to a third of parents.
One in five said that they would like to enrol their child in more nursery hours but were unable to afford to do so.
Professor Upkar Pardesi, chairman of MyEd.com, said, ‘It’s becoming increasingly clear that we in the UK are experiencing a cost of nursery crisis, with households paying over the odds in order to try and help with the development of their child and of their career.’
Around half of parents stated they believed that sending their child to nursery would help with their social development, although only 8 per cent of them thought the nursery fees they paid were good value for money.
Mr Pardesi added that parents were desperate to secure more nursery hours for their child, but are putting themselves into ‘negative nursery equity,’ ending up spending more than they earn by putting their child in a nursery.
‘Following last week’s general election, parents will be holding the new Conservative government to their promises on expanding free childcare provision and helping to tackle costs,’ he added.