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Many parents feel it may be more cost-effective not to work rather than pay for childcare

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More than one in three parents have considered giving up work because they feel unable to cope with childcare costs.

New research from Computershare Voucher Services (CVS) found 36% of parents considered staying at home instead.

The survey of 1,000 parents found 71% of working parents who use childcare vouchers spend less than one hour each week planning and organising childcare. The same percentage agreed that they worried about childcare less than before they began to use Childcare Vouchers.

Eligible working parents can exchange up to £243 per month of their gross salary for childcare vouchers. The exchanged part of the salary is exempt from tax and National Insurance contributions, allowing parents to each make savings of up to £1,196 per year on their childcare costs.

Simon Moore, managing director of CVS, said: "This is an alarming statistic and one that reveals the financial pressure that many new parents feel.

"Many parents clearly consider that it may be more cost-effective not to work than to pay for childcare; with reports that childcare costs in the UK are higher than in any other country it’s a position that’s easy to understand. What we do not know is the number of people who decided it was more cost-effective not to work than to pay for childcare.

"We believe that more must be done to raise awareness of what is available to help parents. Employers, carers and Government all have a role to play in making sure that the return to work for parents, particularly new parents, is made as easy as possible."