A record number of parents are going back to work, a YouGov survey commissioned by uSwitch.com suggests.
An estimated 2.2 million parents now stay at home and look after their kids, down on 2.8 million in 1993, the last time similar research was carried out.
However, it seems a substantial minority of working parents recognise the benefits of spending more time with their family. For instance, one-third of those interviewed thought their children would have a better quality of life if they stayed at home, and seven in 10 parents would do this if money were no object.
Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com, said economic factors were "taking away the choice for many young families. People who want to stay at home can't afford to because of rising household bills, and some people who want to return to work can't afford to either, due to the high cost of childcare."
She added that in 18 per cent of households with children under the age of two, the main carer had to stay at home because they could not afford the cost of outside childcare.
YouGov interviewed nearly 1,400 parents across the UK for the survey.