The general secretary of the Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation (INMO) says the Government should use funds from its scrapped childcare scheme to contribute to childcare payments for frontline workers.
The proposed scheme was cancelled on Wednesday, after a low uptake by providers.
It was due to start next Monday and would have seen childcare professionals provide the service in family homes.
However childcare providers had been warned their insurance would not cover them for COVID-19 claims if they took part in the scheme.
Phil Ni Sheaghdha, General-Secretary of the INMO, told Newstalk Breakfast she was not surprised the scheme was scrapped.
But she has called on the Government to use the funds for the scheme to help her members.
"When this was announced we had a lot of questions - we really didn't see how it would work.
"So we weren't surprised yesterday evening when the announcement was made, because actually a lot of our members have been in touch with childcare providers in the meantime.
"And they already knew that a lot of the providers had indicated that [there were] too many questions, insurance big issue and they weren't actually going to sign up.
"So from our perspective we still have the problem."
"It's costing our members a lot of money now because many of them had made their own arrangements.
"So I think one of the clear statements the Government could make today is the money that was allocated for this can now - and must now - be reallocated to those who are paying over and above what they normally would in order to get to work".
"For example, we have a number of people who've said to us they have arrangements made where childcare workers have offered and have been more than willing to provide them with a service - but the cost of it is very high.
"We have already had examples of nurses who are paying just over €110 a day: that's a lot of money on a nurse's salary to get to work.
"What we're saying is we have arrangements now with the HSE which are that are in the event that you can't secure childcare , and you have made very effort to change your roster, you have agreed to re-deploy to look at different shifts, etc but none of that works - well then you're treated the same as every other public servant.
"In that you are available for work, and you stay at home and you are paid".