More than three-quarters of single parents believe that going back to work has helped them reclaim their independence and self-confidence, according to new research.
Respondents were questioned for the comparative study of parents' working lives and the time spent looking after their children in an online survey commissioned by Jobcentre Plus and carried out by the charity One Parent Families.
Of the 1,000 people who took part, 77 per cent said they "feel more independent" as a result of working and 73 per cent "felt more confident".
Over half (57 per cent) of parents back at work said that work gave them a generally more satisfied feeling about life as a whole - showing that the majority felt there was more to work than just monetary gain.
Childcare and flexible hours were cited by both employed and out of work parents as key issues for employment, with 67 per cent of those currently in work pointing out that finding a job which suited their childcare commitments or school hours was difficult.
Chris Pond, chief executive of One Parent Families said: "We know that nine out of ten lone parents want to work when the time is right for them and their children and this survey shows that work can bring real benefits. But the survey also highlights the barriers to finding work that many lone parents face and with which they need help and support."