The price of a month's nursery care in Scotland's capital is Â£950, 43 per cent of the average Edinburgh take home salary of Â£2,208, according to the study from Admiral Loans. After paying a typical mortgage, a parent of one child in nursery would only save Â£64 a month.
In Glasgow, the picture is only marginally better, with childcare taking up 40 per cent of a typical salary in the city.
Scott Cargill, UK chief executive of Admiral Loans, said: “Our research shows the cost of childcare can be a huge burden on new families. Parents who have taken maternity or paternity leave may already be under financial pressure after being on a lower income during their time out of the workplace and may be squeezed even more when the cost of childcare kicks in.
“New parents have a lot of additional costs to consider. For families already on a tight budget, anything that pushes their spending further, such as holidays, Christmas or birthdays, can tempt people into looking for ways to ease the strain."
Stuart Carmichael of the Debt Support Trust, said: “Many families face a financial dilemma after a child is born and it's a problem which needs to be addressed. While efforts have been made to make it more affordable for parents to return to work after the birth of a child, for low income families, the financial benefit can be very limited.
“We are concerned that more people could be turning to high interest, short-term loans to bridge financial gaps, which are a temporary solution at best and could lead to additional stress and worry further down the line."