An antigen testing programme for early learning and childcare services is being welcomed by Early Childhood Ireland.
CEO Teresa Heeney says many services have been using the tests "for months" up to this point.
From Wednesday, antigen tests will be available to children aged four and over - as well as staff - in a pod where there is a confirmed case of COVID-19.
While antigen testing for children under the age of four has not been recommended.
Parents are being asked to inform the manager of their child's early learning service immediately if their child has a positive COVID-19 PCR test result.
The manager will then contact the staff and parents of the other children in the pod to inform them, and to give them information on how they can request antigen tests for their child.
The Department of Children says antigen testing is voluntary.
Children who are well and have no COVID-19 or respiratory symptoms can remain in the services while they are completing their antigen tests.
But parents should not send their child to early learning and childcare services if they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 - or if their child has a positive PCR or antigen test.
Ms Heeney told Newstalk Breakfast this is a welcome development.
"It's really welcome to see this antigen testing programme being rolled out today.
"Many members of Early Childhood Ireland who run early years and school-aged childcare services have been using antigen testing for months now.
"They've been using it as screeners for their staff and school-aged children have been getting tested as well for the past few weeks.
"This is an important measure by Government that will certainly be welcomed by the early years and the school-aged childcare sector.
"It's an onerous role - the role for the service manager, the role for the service operator - there's a lot of responsibility being placed on them to communicate with the staff, to communicate with parents in regard to how they get the antigen tests themselves.
"So it's important that we recognise that this all takes time and resources, and the cooperation of everybody involved is going to be really important as we get through the next few months."