LACK of childcare is preventing students from taking up college places, a survey has revealed.
Three-quarters of colleges said they did not have enough places while more than half said it was a barrier to parents studying.
Nearly two-thirds said students were dropping out as a result.
The survey by the Daycare Trust, a national childcare charity, found that one in four FE colleges had no childcare facilities.
Collette Kelleher, director of the trust, said: "FE courses are often a stepping stone towards work for lone parents, and could lead to a job which would make coming off benefits worthwhile.
"We want to see free or subsidised childcare facilities in all FE colleges to make them accessible to parents."
The trust has a helpline for parents searching for childcare. It is 0845 100 9444.