Ireland is only investing a quarter of the EU average when it comes to childcare.
The trade union SIPTU has called on the Government for a major increase in spending, which currently lies at 0.2% of GDP.
The union says women are being forced into low-paid jobs and precarious contracts because they cannot get affordable childcare.
It is also urging childcare workers themselves to push for better pay and join a union.
SIPTU Organiser, Ann O'Reilly, is the spokesperson for the Big Start campaign that is pushing for a better deal on childcare.
Ms O'Reilly said: "Compared to other countries in Europe the UNICEF international benchmark recommends that investment in the sector should be 1% of GDP.
"In Ireland, we're 0.2%, the average throughout Europe is 0.8% so we have a long way to go."