There are claims that childcare workers are barely making a living wage with some earning less than €10 an hour.
Siptu is hosting a public meeting in Castlebar, Co Mayo this evening about what they say is a crisis in childcare.
The meeting is part of the union's 'big start' campaign and aims to bring workers, childcare providers and parents together.
Coordinator Clement Shevlin said the system needed to change if children were to benefit in the long run.
"We found the workers in the sector are very low-paid. We took it to the providers, who find it very hard to sustain the business; some are closing down," he said.
" We knew we needed a collective approach, with everyone in the room, including parents. Government tends to focus on making it affordable for parents, which it should be, but it cannot be done on the back of people struggling in the workplace."