€510m needed to cope with the baby boom
There needs to be an injection of an additional €510m into the early childhood sector over the coming six years to ensure that society can cope with the population boom Ireland is currently experiencing, it was claimed.
Early Childhood Ireland also maintained that tax credits are "not the answer" either.
In its new report 'Footsteps for the Future', the organisation, which represents child care professionals, said tax credits "will not support the financial sustainability of early childhood settings and therefore will have no impact on reducing the direct cost of childcare for parents".
"They are extremely expensive and will not drive quality through the system," it added in its report, launched yesterday.
The current spend on the sector is roughly €250m a year.
The group's new policy recommendations, which includes gradually extending parental leave to one year, would require additional funds of €109m next year. Further investment of between €67m and €87m would be needed every year until 2021 to meet population growth, it added.