As Australia calls for improved childcare standards and families brace themselves for the resulting increase in childcare fees, the Australian Scholarships Group (ASG) and KidsLife conducted a poll to find out if the rising cost of childcare would hinder a parent's return to work after childbirth. Fifty-nine per cent of parents surveyed said 'yes', 26 per cent said 'no' and the remaining 15 per cent were undecided.
The decision to return to work after a child is born is not an easy one to make for many parents. There are a myriad of elements to wade through to get to the decision as a family, both financial and non-financial.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), there are more than 51 per cent of females in the workforce with children under the age of four.1 And with the cost of childcare expected to rise, and as indicated by ASG's and KidsLife's poll results, for many families, the financial benefits of returning to work may not produce real benefits.
While the extra income for many families is vital, earned salary also brings with it a series of other lifestyle expenses. The highest cost among these expenses is usually childcare, but can also include:
On the other hand, the non-financial values of returning to work cannot be overlooked as they all can contribute to a happy and balanced parent. They include:
This is an important time for families, and while there are financial and non-financial benefits to either side of the equation, there are a lot of things to take into consideration. Every family is unique so take this into consideration when the time comes.
1Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 4102.0 Australian Social Trends, www.abs.gov.au