MOTHERS are increasingly likely to return to work after having a baby but childcare and a lack of suitable jobs are preventing some from securing employment, a new report has found.

The research compared the employment patterns of two groups of mothers – those who had children in 2004/05 and those who gave birth in 2010/11.

Researchers found 62 per cent of women whose children were born in 2010/11 were in work or on maternity leave when the child was 10 months old compared with 58 per cent of women who gave birth in 2004/05.

Problems with childcare were cited as a barrier to looking for work by more than a quarter (26 per cent) of mothers of five-year-olds questioned, compared with 14 per cent of mothers with a 10-month-old.

The report from the Growing Up in Scotland study was carried out for the Scottish Government by ScotCen Social Research.

Minister for employability and training Jamie Hepburn said: “This study shows that over a six-year period the number of mums returning to work after having a child increased.

“Clearly there is still more that we can do to ensure no-one is forced to choose between their career or their family responsibilities, and that those looking for work can find work.”

He said the government has committed to a pilot scheme to reduce childcare costs and to almost double free early learning and childcare, and more examination of flexible working.