More than two thirds of councils are failing to provide enough childcare, campaigners for have warned.

Just one in five local authorities have enough childcare for parents with children under two, and one in three for school age children, the Daycare Trust and Family and Parenting Institute said.

And just one in seven have enough childcare for disabled children - a figure which has not improved in five years, the charity said.

childcare

Many parents would like to go back to work but cannot afford the childcare costs

The research follows recently published Department for Work and Pensions figures that showed a third of parents who want to work more cannot because they are unable to find affordable childcare.

Daycare Trust and Family and Parenting Institute chief executive Anand Shukla said: "Councils across England and Wales are failing families by presiding over a continuing shortage of high quality, affordable childcare."

He added: "Local authorities have a legal duty to ensure a sufficient supply of childcare in their areas, but no doubt their failure to do so is linked to the tight financial squeeze they find themselves in, with ever more austere funding settlements.

"Only the government can address this situation by investing more in providing support for parents."

Government plans to increase the number of pre-school children that childminders can look after will have little impact, the charities said.

A government spokesman promised a new announcement soon, and said: "We are reforming the childcare system so that providers have more flexibility when they have highly qualified staff and childminders are better supported."

Loading Slideshow...
  • Pope Francis waves to crowds as he arrives to his inauguration Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis urged princes, presidents, sheiks and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass on Tuesday to protect the environment, the weakest and the poorest, mapping out a clear focus of his priorities as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • Pope Francis is greeted by crowds as he arrives in St. Peter's Square for his inauguration Mass at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • Ecuador's President Rafael Correa applauds Pope Francis passing by, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Pope Francis kisses a child in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis urged princes, presidents, sheiks and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass on Tuesday to protect the environment, the weakest and the poorest, mapping out a clear focus of his priorities as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

  • Photo provided by German government shows Pope Francis as he is congratuled by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center right, after his inaugural Mass at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Some dozens heads of states and government heads came to Rome to attend the mass. (AP Photo/Bundesregierung, Guido Bergmann)

  • Pope Francis kisses a child in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis urged princes, presidents, sheiks and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass on Tuesday to protect the environment, the weakest and the poorest, mapping out a clear focus of his priorities as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

  • The Inauguration Mass For Pope Francis

    VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 19: Pope Francis drives through the crowds during the Inauguration Mass for the Pope in St Peter's Square on March 19, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The mass is being held in front of an expected crowd of up to one million pilgrims and faithful who have filled the square and the surrounding streets to see the former Cardinal of Buenos Aires officially take up his role as pontiff. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • VATICAN-POPE-INAUGURATION-MASS

    Italian cardinal Angelo Sodano (R) puts the Fisherman's Ring, made of gold-plated silver, on a finger of Pope Francis during his grandiose inauguration mass on March 19, 2013 at the Vatican. Pope Francis swept into St Peter's Square on Tuesday to greet throngs of pilgrims before a sumptuous ceremony in which Latin America's first pontiff will receive the formal symbols of papal power. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI,ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • VATICAN-POPE-INAUGURATION-MASS

    An assistant puts the papal mitre to Pope Francis during his inauguration mass on March 19, 2013 at the Vatican. Pope Francis swept into St Peter's Square on Tuesday to greet throngs of pilgrims before a sumptuous ceremony in which Latin America's first pontiff will receive the formal symbols of papal power. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI,ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • The Inauguration Mass For Pope Francis

    VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 19: Pope Francis greets the faithful during the Inauguration Mass for Pope Francis in St Peter's Square on March 19, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The mass was held in front of an estimated crowd of up to one million pilgrims and faithful who have filled the square and the surrounding streets to see the former Cardinal of Buenos Aires officially take up his role as pontiff. Pope Francis' inauguration took place in front of Cardinals and spiritual leaders as well as heads of state from around the world. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • The Inauguration Mass For Pope Francis

    VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 19: Pope Francis greets the faithful during the Inauguration Mass for Pope Francis in St Peter's Square on March 19, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The mass was held in front of an estimated crowd of up to one million pilgrims and faithful who have filled the square and the surrounding streets to see the former Cardinal of Buenos Aires officially take up his role as pontiff. Pope Francis' inauguration took place in front of Cardinals and spiritual leaders as well as heads of state from around the world. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • The Inauguration Mass For Pope Francis

    VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 19: Pope Francis greets the faithful during the Inauguration Mass for Pope Francis in St Peter's Square on March 19, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The mass was held in front of an estimated crowd of up to one million pilgrims and faithful who have filled the square and the surrounding streets to see the former Cardinal of Buenos Aires officially take up his role as pontiff. Pope Francis' inauguration took place in front of Cardinals and spiritual leaders as well as heads of state from around the world. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • The Inauguration Mass For Pope Francis

    VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 19: Pope Francis acknowledges the crowd of faithful as he arrives in St. Peter's Square for his Inauguration Mass on March 19, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The inauguration of Pope Francis is being held in front of an expected crowd of up to one million pilgrims and faithful who have crowded into St Peter's Square and the surrounding streets to see the former Cardinal of Buenos Aires officially take up his position. Pope Francis' inauguration takes place in front his cardinals, spiritual leaders as well as heads of states from around the world and he will now lead an estimated 1.3 billion Catholics. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

  • VATICAN-POPE-INAUGURATION-MASS

    Pope Francis holds his hat upon arrival in the papamobile on St Peter's square for his inauguration mass on March 19, 2013 at St peter's square at the Vatican. Pope Francis swept into St Peter's Square on Tuesday to greet throngs of pilgrims before a sumptuous ceremony in which Latin America's first pontiff will receive the formal symbols of papal power. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS,GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • The Inauguration Mass For Pope Francis

    VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 19: Pope Francis greets the faithful during the Inauguration Mass for Pope Francis in St Peter's Square on March 19, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The mass was held in front of an estimated crowd of up to one million pilgrims and faithful who have filled the square and the surrounding streets to see the former Cardinal of Buenos Aires officially take up his role as pontiff. Pope Francis' inauguration took place in front of Cardinals and spiritual leaders as well as heads of state from around the world. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • VATICAN-POPE-INAUGURATION-MASS

    Pope Francis waves to faithful upon arrival in the papamobile on St Peter's square for his inauguration mass on March 19, 2013 at St peter's square at the Vatican. Pope Francis swept into St Peter's Square on Tuesday to greet throngs of pilgrims before a sumptuous ceremony in which Latin America's first pontiff will receive the formal symbols of papal power. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI,ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Pope Francis celebrates his installation Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis has urged princes, presidents, sheikhs and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass to protect God's creation, the weakest and the poorest of the world. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

  • Pope Francis waves to crowds as he arrives to his inauguration Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis urged princes, presidents, sheiks and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass on Tuesday to protect the environment, the weakest and the poorest, mapping out a clear focus of his priorities as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • Pope Francis waves to crowds as he arrives to his inauguration Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis urged princes, presidents, sheiks and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass on Tuesday to protect the environment, the weakest and the poorest, mapping out a clear focus of his priorities as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • Pope Francis waves as he arrives in St. Peter's Square for his inauguration Mass at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • Pope Francis waves to crowds as he arrives to his inauguration Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis urged princes, presidents, sheiks and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass on Tuesday to protect the environment, the weakest and the poorest, mapping out a clear focus of his priorities as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • Pope Francis waves upon his arrival in St. Peter's Square for his inaugural Mass, at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • Pope Francis waves upon his arrival in St. Peter's Square for his inaugural Mass, at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Pope Francis waves to crowds as he arrives to his inauguration Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis urged princes, presidents, sheiks and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass on Tuesday to protect the environment, the weakest and the poorest, mapping out a clear focus of his priorities as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • Pope Francis waves as he arrives in St. Peter's Square for his inauguration Mass at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • Pope Francis waves as he arrives in St. Peter's Square for his inauguration Mass at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • Pope Francis is greeted by crowds as he arrives in St. Peter's Square for his inauguration Mass at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • Pope Francis walks past the altar in front of St. Peter's Basilica in St. Peter's Square following his inauguration Mass at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis celebrates his installation Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis has urged princes, presidents, sheikhs and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass to protect God's creation, the weakest and the poorest of the world. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Pope Francis looks out from the alter during his inauguration Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • U.S. vice-president Joe Biden attends Pope Francis' installation Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends Pope Francis' installation Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

  • Pope Francis celebrates his installation Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis has urged princes, presidents, sheikhs and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass to protect God's creation, the weakest and the poorest of the world. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Pope Francis celebrates his installation Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis has urged princes, presidents, sheikhs and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass to protect God's creation, the weakest and the poorest of the world. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Pope Francis holds the pastoral staff as he celebrates his inaugural Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis has urged princes, presidents, sheikhs and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass to protect God's creation, the weakest and the poorest of the world. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Pope Francis celebrates Mass during his inauguration in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis is bestowed the Fisherman's Ring by Cardinal Angelo Sodano during his inaugural Mass, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Pope Francis celebrates his inaugural Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis has officially begun his ministry as the 266th pope, receiving the ring symbolizing the papacy and a wool stole symbolizing his role as shepherd of his 1.2-billion strong flock. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Pope Francis stands at the steps of St. Peter's Basilica during his inaugural Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis sits at the steps of St. Peter's Basilica during his inaugural Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis reads the gospel during his inaugural Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis celebrates his inaugural Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis has officially begun his ministry as the 266th pope, receiving the ring symbolizing the papacy and a wool stole symbolizing his role as shepherd of his 1.2-billion strong flock. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Prelates attend Pope Francis' inaugural Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis has officially begun his ministry as the 266th pope, receiving the ring symbolizing the papacy and a wool stole symbolizing his role as shepherd of his 1.2-billion strong flock.. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Prince Felipe of Spain, center, is flanked by Dutch Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Letizia as they attend Pope Francis' inaugural Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis has officially begun his ministry as the 266th pope, receiving the ring symbolizing the papacy and a wool stole symbolizing his role as shepherd of his 1.2-billion strong flock. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Crowds watch on video monitors as Pope Francis reads the gospel during his inaugural Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • Pope Francis waves incense around the alter before his inauguration Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis holds his pastoral staff prior to celebrating his inaugural Mass, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Pope Francis waves incense around the alter before his inauguration Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis, center, celebrates his inaugural Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Pope Francis waves as he arrives for his inauguration Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)