Childcare in the Bailiwick is too expensive and not convenient, a survey by the States of Guernsey has found.
The survey found most parents tended to rely on family members and friends to provide support.
Cost was given as the main reason one in seven families do not use any childcare services at all.
More than 2,000 households in Guernsey and Alderney took part in the phone survey conducted by IFF Research.
More than two-fifths of those surveyed, who had at least one child under the age of 16, use some form of childcare.
The average annual household spend on childcare is £4,400, with the average spend per child in a year being £3,400.
Six out of 10 of those surveyed felt the States should take action to improve availability, quality and affordability of childcare in the islands.
More than half thought the States should be subsidising childcare places and a third believed there should be States-run facilities.
The results also showed that for a third of parents wanting to work more hours or take up employment, childcare was the biggest barrier to doing so.