Many parents of school-age children struggle to find suitable childcare, a survey by the Daycare Trust suggests.
A poll of 116 family information services across England, Scotland and Wales found 60% had had parents report a lack of childcare in their area.
Just 28% said there was sufficient childcare for primary pupils locally.
Only 12% said there was suitable provision for parents who worked shifts and just 11% said there was cover for the parents of disabled children.
"The availability of childcare for school-age children remains low," said the report for the childcare charity.
"Only 28% of family information services are saying that sufficient childcare exists across their entire local authority for primary school age.
"For secondary school age children the picture is even worse, with just 14% reporting sufficient childcare in the whole authority."
The survey also questioned family information services about the cost of childcare for pre-school children.
boy building tower Families face mounting childcare costs, the Daycare Trust says
It found the average annual cost for 25 hours of nursery care a week for a child under the age of two was 5,032 pounds in England, 5,220 pounds in Scotland and 4,723 pounds in Wales.
For a child minder, the same provision was 4,680 pounds in England, 4,665 pounds in Scotland and 4,687 pounds in Wales.
The research suggests costs vary considerably between regions and within regions.
Not surprisingly, London and the South East were the most expensive areas for childcare.
In London, the average weekly cost for 25 hours nursery care for a child under two is 118.54 pounds(equating to 6,164 pounds/ yr).
In the North West is 82.70 pounds/wk (4,300 pounds/yr).
-reprinted from BBC News