Childcare costs soar by 20 per cent

Childcare costs price parents out of the job marketPic: Getty

British parents are being faced with a dilemma when it comes to returning to work. According to a survey by, the cost of hiring a babysitter has soared by 20 per cent over the past year, leaving many mums and dads unable to go back to work.

The survey revealed that one in four unemployed parents were keen to get back into the job market, but with childcare costing almost £10 an hour, many simply can't afford to pay for a nanny or babysitter to look after their little one.

In the poll of more than 1,000 parents, a sizeable majority admitted that cost was the biggest barrier to going back to work, while about 50 per cent believed the Government was not doing enough to support them over the cost of childcare.

And with after-school nannies charging £10 an hour, babysitters £9.80 and the average housekeeper costing £11.25 per hour, it's hardly surprising that finding quality but affordable childcare proved a serious challenge for many families.

Sharon Greene, women's officer at trade union Unison, told the Daily Mail: "The high cost of childcare is pricing many women out of their jobs, forcing them to give up work which puts family finances under massive pressure."

Ms Greene suggested employers should look at "innovative ways to support working parents" and added: "If the country is to recover from the economic downturn, the Government needs to listen to working parents and take account of the needs of the modern workplace. That means providing funding for more affordable, flexible and quality childcare."

Have you been unable to return to work because of the high cost of childcare? Leave your comments below...