The poll of more than 1,000 parents by the Daycare Trust and Mumsnet found that more than one in ten parents have left a job because of childcare costs, and one in five have turned down a job for the same reason.
Around 37 per cent of parents said they pay the same or more for their childcare than they do for their rent or mortgage, and 14 per cent have borrowed money from friends, family or credit cards to help pay for fees.
Those who took part in the survey said they were keen for both the Government and employers to improve support, with more than seven out of ten claiming that the Government doesn’t do enough to help with the cost of childcare.
More than half of parents said that they would be happy to receive fewer benefits if childcare was made free or more affordable.
When asked how they felt about the proposals to cut adult to child ratios to reduce the cost of childcare, currently being considered by the Childcare Commission, only five per cent of parents said they would support the move.
Half of parents felt that childminders should be able to look after a maximum of three children under the age of five, in line with current regulations, while 20 per cent believe it should be a maximum of two.
Anand Shukla, chief executive of Daycare Trust, said, ‘This survey clearly sets out just how big a barrier childcare costs are for parents looking to stay in or enter the labour market. Affordable, high quality childcare is good for child development, enables families to be financially self-sufficient, and ensures businesses have access to the widest possible pool of talent.
'This survey clearly shows that while parents want affordable childcare they are not prepared for quality to be compromised. The Government’s new Childcare Commission should pay heed when considering how to ease the burden of childcare costs for parents.’