The delays in testing for COVID-19 are having a "huge impact" the ability of childcare providers to adequately look after children.
That's according to Joan O’Sullivan, the National Secretary of the Association of Childhood Professionals and owner of Little Footsteps creche in Swords.
Speaking on The Pat Kenny Show today, Ms O’Sullivan said she had to wait six days for a test result after she was in close contact with a confirmed case.
She said she attending a mandatory training day in first aid with a small group of people who socially distanced and wore masks on site.
She said: "Four days later the alert went off and I had the call from a contract tracer that somebody on that course had tested positive.
"From the day I got the alert, it was three days before I got my test, after which a result was returned in 36 hours."
She then scheduled a second test but the results did not come back for six days.
Ms O'Sullivan added: "I didn't go back into work until I got the results but technically I could have been because the 14 days had elapsed."
She said 1% of childcare services have had a positive case since reopening and that having staff who may need to self-isolate was causing a lot of anxiety.
"There's a huge impact there on our ability to care for the children.
Ms O'Sullivan said that in such childcare settings, they do not practice social distancing or wear masks, but they do wear clothes that can be easily washed.
She said she had a family member admitted to hospital recently for non-COVID-related concerns, and that a standard test taken by them returned results on the same day.
She added: "I think childcare is the one area of our society where there's no social distancing and for a very good reason.
"But I think asking us to not social distance we need that additional protection of being able to access those fast tests.
"Doctors, nurses, they're on the frontline and they have PPE but we don't."