Creches and preschools could face closure orders and higher fines under new government legislation.
The Cabinet approved the Heads of Bill on the new sanctions before it broke for the Summer recess, reported The Irish Times.
Under the legislation, inspectors will have the power to issue statutory notices and orders to facilities found to be in breach of regulations.
Irene Gunning, Chief Executive of Early Childhood Ireland, says their members are stepping up openness with parents in the wake of the Prime Time Investigates programme, which highlighted breaches of care at a number of creches.
"Really good people do that all the time, have always done that. Around the time of Prime Time, we were asking people to step that up, particularly because the programme was affecting people's confidence in systems. But in fact people who have good creche facilities, the parents know it."