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'I'd be working for nothing'

Natalie Chapman left her job as a nursery nurse in Manchester six months ago so that she could watch her daughter growing up.

The 20-year-old, who earned pound;4.21 an hour, said: "Because the wages are so low and the hours relatively long, it just was not worth me staying at work.

"I had seen babies taking their first steps with complete strangers, rather than their mothers. I wanted to be at home to watch my baby grow up."

Miss Chapman said she had no plans to return to work while daughter Libby, now six months, is at home. She said: "I could earn around pound;8,000 a year, but if I was paying childcare fees out of that, I would be working for nothing."

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