Trade union Impact has sharply criticised Children's Minister Katherine Zappone, over what they have described as her Department's inept handling of the early childhood scheme.
The union is meeting with childcare workers in Dublin this morning to brief them on recent development's around the workings of the free childcare programme for pre schoolers.
Impact said that it is wrong that thousands of staff are being forced onto the dole for the summer - because the scheme only operates for 10 months of the year.
Impact education spokesperson Una Faulkner said that more money must be made available to allow the programme function properly.
"That is where the crux of the argument is - the funding into the sector is not appropriate for people to be on a Living Wage, and that is both for providers and their staff alike," she said.
"So overall investment in the sector is what Impact is advocating for.
"Consultation, negotiation and recognition for the professional work that the providers and their staff do within this sector."