The state-funded pre-school programme (ECCE) won't resume until January 11th, the Children's Minister has confirmed.
However, other childcare services are being asked to reopen as planned from Monday.
Around 100,000 children are enrolled in the state-funded pre-school programme, and services were due to resume in the coming days.
That's now been delayed for several days, in line with the postponed reopening of primary and secondary schools.
Children's Minister Roderic O'Gorman says the decision comes following concerns expressed by the Early Learning and Childcare COVID-19 Advisory Group over the worsening coronavirus situation in the country.
In a statement, the Department of Children said: "By postponing the return of these children to the pre-school programme, social mixing will be reduced, which will help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the post-Christmas period.
"The pre-school programme will now resume on 11 January, in line with the reopening of schools. The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth will provide funding to providers for the pre-school programme for the week of 4 to 8 January.
"Under the full Level 5 COVID-19 restrictions, early learning and childcare services, including childminders that provide services other than, or in addition to, the pre-school programme, can continue to operate. These services provide an essential service which supports parents to go to work."
The statement adds that Minister O'Gorman is asking such services to reopen as planned from Monday, and that guidance will be provided on how to 'prioritise demand' in situations where there are staff shortages.