Keira Knightley feels lucky to afford childcare.

The 'Begin Again' star - who has 17-month-old daughter Edie with her husband James Righton - fears her career would have been over if she wasn't able to get someone to look after her little girl whilst she goes back to work.

She said: ''I've become unbelievably aware of that and how lucky I've been to be able to afford really good childcare, because otherwise it would be at least four years out of my career.

''I wouldn't be able to get back to where I'd been if I'd taken four years out. I think that's the same for most women. And I think that's really hard.''

And the 31-year-old actress bemoaned the cost of childcare in the United Kingdom, insisting it stops the average women from going back to work.

She added: ''One of the things that is so shocking in this country is that childcare is unbelievably expensive. It should be, it's an amazing thing if you're good at it.

''It's incredibly difficult, it should be well paid. But there is no option for a woman to go back to work unless she's being paid really, really well and can afford full-time care before [her child can] get into nursery.''

Keira also criticised the British government's recommendation that men should have two weeks paternity leave.

Speaking to Harper's Bazaar magazine, she shared: ''I think paternity leave should be the same as maternity leave. It's shocking. Because you need that option.

''And actually, when you're thinking about an employer looking at a man and a woman thinking, 'Well, at some point you could take nine months or however long off, and the guy doesn't have to.' Don't tell me that that doesn't come into it! You need to be a family unit, not just have the guy there for two weeks and then go back to work and the mother left desperately trying to figure it out. I think it's archaic that there aren't better options.''