Parents say they need to be paid more so they can work and care for their children, as ONS figures show childcare costs an average of  £7,207 a year, yet the average wage is only £25,780.

Research from MoneySyperMarket asked parents of 0-14-year-olds across the country how they had been financially and mentally impacted by paying for childcare.

Expenses cut and credit cards used

Almost 10 percent of parents told the site they use a credit card to pay for childcare, while 18 percent said they use their savings. Most parents said they wanted the government to do more to support families with childcare costs.

Neal Cross from MoneySuperMarket said: “With seventy percent of parents in the UK feeling the government doesn’t do enough to make childcare affordable, it’s clear that financing it has become unattainable for many.”

31 percent of parents say they have altered their lifestyles so that they can pay for childcare and help their salary stretch further.

This includes cutting back on social activities – around 45 percent say they no longer go out with friends or eat out, while 28 percent say they have cut back on buying luxuries for themselves including expensive toiletries.

Others measures they have taken include no longer shopping for clothes for themselves, and switching to cheaper supermarkets.

One in two parents meanwhile, say the costs of childcare have deterred them from having another child.

Parents should look for better jobs

However, as it has widely been reported we are currently in a job seeker’s market, one of the world’s largest recruitment firms suggest people who are struggling to find a job should keep looking.

Niki Turner-Harding is the Senior Vice President at Adecco UK & Ireland: “The job market remains firmly on the road to recovery, as signalled by yet another month of increased employment. This is despite swathes of workers across industries leaving their jobs as the long-awaited ‘Great Resignation’ kicks into high gear, with many sectors now facing a ‘hiring crisis’.

 As an alternative to paying for childcare, more than two thirds of British workers said they rely on family and friends to look after their children.

Job seekers market

Ms Turner-Harding said: “In this environment, the battle for best talent persists. Candidates are still firmly at the helm, and they should relish the opportunity to shop around for a job that works best for them – with flexible working allowances, wellbeing support programmes, childcare support, or other benefits.”

Neal Cross said there are other measures people could take to protect their finances, besides giving up luxuries and their social life: “The pandemic has had a profound financial impact on many households, and this is evident in the lengths some families are going to in order to look after their little ones. Given the expenses involved, purchasing life insurance can be an important way to protect your family as any payout can be used to cover childcare costs, mortgage payments and other day-to-day expenses.”