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8 January 2015, 07:13
A fifth of working parents are considering reducing their hours or giving up their job altogether because of childcare costs, a new study has revealed.
A survey of 1,000 parents of children aged up to 16 also found that many were planning to cut back on essentials this year because of the financial strain of childcare.
More than two thirds of those polled by the charity 4Children paid for childcare, and around one in five of those said they are thinking about reducing their working hours or quitting their job.
Anne Longfield, chief executive of 4Children, said: "Childcare represents a huge financial challenge for most parents and our poll shows the real impact costs are having on family life - from giving up work to cutting back on essentials.
"Removing parents' choice as to whether or not they continue to work after having children is not the answer for families or for the economy.
"Parents of the youngest children are feeling the pressures most acutely and are calling on politicians to do more to help, particularly with the cost of childcare.