Mother-of-two Nikki Gibson said she was “paying to work” because the costs of childcare were higher than her wages.
Ms Gibson was an accounts manager at a North transport company, but following the birth of her now two-year-old, Harry, was faced with the cost of going back to work and placing her two young children with a full-time child minder.
She worked out that paying for her two children to be looked after while she was at work full-time left her in negative equity.
Ms Gibson, who lives in Blyth, Northumberland, said: “I tried to go back to work part-time after Harry was born and the job wouldn’t allow it.
“By the time I worked it out I would be minus what I earned after paying for childcare costs and the cost of travel getting into work.”
Instead, Mrs Gibson opted for a complete career change and set up her home-baking company, Little Bunny Bakery.
This enabled her to look after her daughter Evie, 4, and youngest, Harry, during the day, while she baked her delicious goods at night.
The business is now thriving and specialises in children’s novelty cakes and weddings.
Now Ms Gibson is glad she made the move to set up her own business, but admits that the cost of childcare is what gave her the initial push.
“I believe everything happens for a reason but it was the childcare that gave me the push I needed,” she said.
“I think the Government needs to subsidise the cost of childcare. You can’t penalise the child minder because they need the money as a wage.
“I know other parents who have opted not to go back to work because it would cost them more than staying at home.”
The Family and Childcare Trust, which publishes studies of childcare costs, said the average cost of childcare in the UK is £11,700 for a family with one child in full-time nursery and one in an after-school club.
That’s 62% higher than the average UK mortgage, making it the most concerning household bill for many families.