The majority of working parents spend less than £300 a week on childcare and 25% spend nothing at all, according to a poll by www.workingmums.co.uk.
The poll, of 453 parents who are either working or looking for work, finds that many parents are getting around the expense of childcare by using relatives and friends, juggling childcare with partners or running their own businesses from home. Several said they simply could not afford to work due to childcare costs.
Some 17% of parents said they spent between £300 and £700 a week, 4% spent between £700 and £1,000 and only 2% spent over £1,000 a week.
Kirsty Tomlinson said: “Work from home, juggle the lot and reminisce about holidays where you could get a tan whilst listening to a walkman then you don’t have to pay for childcare!”
Another commented: “Somehow I manage to fit in selling a local magazine, administrative services and telesales for a number of clients as well as a part-time degree, whilst my 6 year old is at school. I accept that I will earn less than I could, but have the pleasure of being free to spend time with him after school, at weekends and during holidays!”
Many were looking for work they could do from home to save on childcare costs. One said: “The cost of childcare against potential earnings today is just not affordable. Therefore I look after my own children and am looking for work I can do at home around their resting periods.”
The poll was sponsored by Childcare Maintenance Options.