A new study has highlighted the difficulty many parents face in securing out-of-school childcare.
According to the Family and Childcare Trust, parts of the country are "childcare deserts", making it difficult for parents to find the right work-life balance.
In addition, there are large variations in prices within local areas, which make it difficult for people to work out what childcare is on offer in a locality and what is best for them.
Over 40 per cent of parents interviewed by the charity said their childcare arrangements became more difficult as their children started school.
Almost two-thirds reported having to change their working patterns to accommodate childcare when their children had started school, with almost 12 per cent having to either change or quit their jobs completely.
The trust is calling on local authorities to put clear action plans in place to address shortfalls in childcare provision and for out-of-school childcare to be made a legal entitlement.
Posted by Tim Colman