Perhaps this is the graph government does not want you to see.
Published last year, it certainly explains a lot. Perhaps the most obvious point of all. It shows that over 80% of mothers when asked to explain why there are not in paid work answered, "Preference/too busy with family". The answer remains over 80% until the youngest is 5 years. After that more than half of mothers still maintain this preference until the youngest is 11 years.
Vested interest from both major parties have tried to convince tax-payers to fork out more handouts to push mothers with young children into paid work 'to increase productivity'.
This data shows that women CHOOSE to be at home, because they ARE working (unpaid). In fact they are quite busy thanks for asking. Not because they can't find tax-payer subsidised child-care. Not because they can't find a job (they already have a busy job).
The enormous cash handouts given for child-care subsidy and paid parental leave policy (estimated to be $21 billion within 9 years and growing at 11% each year) will only marginally increase paid work participation. This is admitted by even by opponents of mother-care funding like Anne Summers in her book The Misogyny Factor where she acknowledges that increases in childcare funding have not resulted in reciprocal increases in the uptake of childcare services. What economic rationalists and radical feminists share in common is a failure to account for unpaid work that is productive but does not show up in the GDP figures.
Source: Page 70 document. (page84 in Acrobat) Reader) http://www.dss.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/12_2013/op50_final_tagged_pdf.pdf