Many parents could be better off staying at home as the cost of childcare is making it too expensive to remain working, research has claimed.
Some working mothers could be financially worse off by almost £100 a month, according to a study by the Aviva insurance group.
The firm's latest Family Finances Report uses existing data and its own new figures to assess the impact of childcare costs on working families.
The findings claim that the average monthly costs associated with going to work now total £120, while childcare adds up to £288 and schooling costs add up to £147.
It found that a woman in part-time work earns on average £8,557 a year, or £713 a month after tax.
But if she has two children, aged seven and one, she would pay out £721 a month in childcare and schooling costs, and £90 a month in costs associated with working. This would leave her worse off by £98 a month than if she did not work.
These figures do not take into account employer or state benefits, the research notes.
It also claims that single-parent families with two children who rely on full-time childcare could be up to £225 a month worse off.
The study did find that a woman with two children (aged seven and one) who works full time would end up £120 a month better off.
It concludes that there is often a "significant reliance" on one person in a family, with an average post-tax monthly income of £1,782, to meet all the day-to-day costs and plan for the future.