Are you a working mum? Chances are the answer is yes: some 65% of mothers in Australia also hold down full or part time work. And if you do, you’ll be more than aware of the struggles of finding affordable childcare for your kids.
This struggle has never been more evident than in a new study commissioned by the Australian National University into just how much childcare is costing mothers who work full time. The findings were grim: after tax and childcare payments, mums can earn only $5 and hour.
“We found for a low-income case where a woman was earning only around $43,000 per year, when you include her husband’s wage, you’ll also find she’s going backwards financially on the fifth day,” lead researching Ben Phillips told the ABC.
“So she’s actually losing money by turning up for work.”Ben Phillips
Childcare is famously outrageously expensive in Australia. The government spends $3.2 billion on childcare subsidies, which are doled out in a means-tested payment scheme. But research has shown that families still fork out around 9% of their entire disposable income on childcare fees on top of the subsidies. The childcare industry alone is worth a whopping $11 billion in Australia.
Basically, working mums in Australia are left with an incredibly difficult choice. Stay home, and sacrifice their career, or go to work and essentially hand over their entire paycheque to childcare services.