Parents who take a break from working in order to care for their children are paying a much higher long term cost than they realize, according to a new study. The Center for American Progress finds that workers can expect to lose three of four times their annual salary for each year out of the workforce. 'When you actually look over the worker's lifetime, and you factor in things like their earning potential, their retirement assets, social security you see that leaving the workforce for childcare can actually cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even millions of dollars for some workers,' explained Katie Hamm, one of the co-authors of the report.