Watch an ITV News report on the challenge of childcare costs facing many parents
A mother has told how the soaring cost of childcare has forced her to sell her home and relocate, as charities warned that more parents are having to go to extreme lengths to cover costs.
Dawn Fazackerley-King moved to Kesgrave in Suffolk to downsize her family home because the cost of her childcare outstripped her earnings, she told ITV News Anglia.
Other parents reported having to borrow money or cut back on everyday essentials just to cover the costs.
Ms Fazackerley-King said: "We've been forced into selling our four-bed semi-detached house in West Sussex and moving to a smaller property in Suffolk just to avoid getting ourselves into uncontrollable debt."
"We rely heavily on family support not only in terms of childcare but also in terms of financial assistance. I've had to work three jobs and that barely covers the cost of the nursery fees which is in excess of £650 per month."
Ruth Magill from Newmarket in Suffolk has an 18-month-old daughter and another baby on the way. At the moment, all her salary goes on childcare.
She said: "I'm in the situation now where I would have to earn double the amount of money to send my children into childcare and I don't know whether that's going to be feasible.
"So I'm looking at - not by choice - having to be out of work."
A survey of parents by Mumsnet in the autumn found half of those using childcare have noticed a significant impact on their standard of living or found it completely unaffordable.
A third said they are paying more for childcare than their rent or mortgage.
And the situation is exacerbated for those on one income, said a charity which supports single parent families.
Farah Baldock from Gingerbread said: "Childcare costs in the UK are extremely expensive and this is particularly difficult to bear for single parents because they are on one household income.
"We found through our own research that many single parents are actually being pushed into debt in order to be able to afford childcare.
Childcare providers are also facing huge financial pressures.
Many have had to close, while others are struggling to stay afloat. They say the government needs to do more.
The Department for Education said in a statement: "The early years of a child's life are the most crucial, which is why we've invested more than £3.5 billion in each of the last three years to deliver free childcare offers, including the 30 hours a week for working parents.
We're also increasing the hourly rates paid to councils for free childcare entitlements, and are investing millions in Family Hubs - where parents can get support".