Struggling parents living in one of the most deprived areas of the city are facing a mammoth task to secure childcare for their children.

Research from the Labour Party shows that in Norwich North there are 2,862 children aged one to three and 8,476 children aged four to 11.

However despite there being a total 11,338 kids under the age of 12 who need childcare while their parents work, there are just 56 childminders in the ward.

That means that of the 356 childminder places on offer there could be up to 31 kids vying for the spot.

Meanwhile data from national campaign group Pregnant then Screwed shows that for the first time in decades the number of women leaving the workforce to look after family has increased.

Some 400 parents marched through Norwich at the weekend demanding action on the issue.

Alice Macdonald, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Norwich North said: "Childminders provide really important flexible and affordable care for children.

Norwich Evening News: Alice Macdonald, Labour parliamentary candidate for Norwich NorthAlice Macdonald, Labour parliamentary candidate for Norwich North (Image: Alice Macdonald)

"In Norwich the situation is even more acute. We’ve already seen a number of nurseries and pre-schools close in the last year.

"During holidays parents will be juggling work with childcare and will be simply unable to find the provision they need.

"Childcare is a real challenge for many families I have spoken to and needs to be urgently addressed by the government."

Data published last year by the ministry for housing, communities and local government show that areas North Norwich such as Mile Cross are among the worst deprived in the country.

Debbie Norwell, 58, has worked in childcare in Norwich for 30 years.

Norwich Evening News: Debbie Norwell has been in the childcare industry for 30 yearsDebbie Norwell has been in the childcare industry for 30 years (Image: Debbie Norwell)

The owner of Little Pixies Childcare, based in NR3, said: "I charge £5 per hour but that covers nappies, wipes, snacks and lunch.

"It's what we've been charging for the last year but it's a promise I make that it will be the same from the day you sign up to the day you leave the setting.

"We're feeling the pinch as well, worrying about costs."

Clive Lewis, MP for Norwich South, added: "The childcare system is busted.

"Childcare that works is essential to parents, children and ultimately to all of us. I want childcare to become a universal basic service free to parents, regardless of their ability to pay."