I had my first baby in June of last year and i was able to get the government funded maternity leave but then had to go back to work when my little boy was 5 months old. This caused me to have major anxiety because i felt he was far too young. Being my first child i found it incredibly hard to hand him over to a complete stranger and trust that they would do what's best for him as he can't tell me if something's wrong. He is now nearly 8 months old and i am really happy with his development and he remains a very happy baby, if not happier than he was before. The exposure to other kids and other adults has helped him become a more secure and experienced baby. As for cost, including the child care rebate it costs me $30 per day so even if i had to have two children in daycare it works out better finically to go back to work.
The only downfall to this situation is that i have less time with my little boy, and this is time i can never get back. If i had the choice i would stay home with him and take him to play groups, but unfortunately the bills still need to be paid.
Hope this has helped