Financy questions: is it worth returning to work given the excessive cost of childcare? Women shouldn’t have to ask themselves this, but many do without considering their long-term financial security or their own dreams. Many women weigh up childcare costs with working, but consider the risks, not just for the woman’s career prospects but for the whole family’s financial security. Career breaks to have children are a key contributor to the superannuation savings gap that affects the financial security of women. Although these career breaks are often referred to as a choice made by the primary carer (namely women), the cost of childcare is a key financial consideration and a critical enabler of female workforce participation.
Natasha Janssens, author of Wonder Woman’s Guide to Money, says that a 25-year-old woman on a full-time yearly income of $60,000 stands to lose roughly $170,000 in superannuation by taking five years out of the workforce between age 35 and 40 and $400,000 if she takes 10 years out between 30 and 40. But if you knew that you would lose $400,000 in your retirement savings by staying at home to look after your kids full-time for 10 years, would you still think childcare was too expensive?