An increase in payments for early childcare and education is being gobbled up before it gets to parents, according to Fianna Fáil.
The party's Lorraine Clifford Lee said benefits announced by the Minister earlier this week are already being absorbed by childcare providers.
The Senator said: "I've been fielding calls all week from hard-pressed parents who aren't actually seeing a drop in their fees, as envisaged by the Minister.
"They are actually seeing a payment increase being gobbled up by the childcare providers because they are increasing their fees.
"I'm talking directly about children who do their ECCE hours as part of their day in a creche."
The Senator said she has been contacted by several parents who have been told this month that their fees are increasing for the coming school year.
She said: "The providers are seeing an increase themselves in the volume of administration and paperwork that they have to complete for the Department so that the Minister isn't having the effect that she wants.
"Hard-pressed parents and childcare providers are no better off as a result."