The government is being urged to offer more financial support to parents who want to take parental leave.
From today, mothers and fathers can take an extra two weeks off work during their child's first year.
It is expected to benefit around 60,000 parents, including those who have adopted.
Parents of newly adopted children will also be eligible for the €245 payment.
Frances Byrne from Early Childhood Ireland that the payment is welcome but that parents need much more financial support in the expensive first year.
"One of the reasons why mothers don't extend maternity leave and dads don't take paternity leave as much as we would like is because of this," said Ms Byrne.
"Nobody wants families falling into poverty.
"The extra time is welcome but let's start having the conversation about how we are going to pay for this, how we are going to encourage both employers to support employees sp that babies can have the very best first year."