Fianna Fáil is warning that between 10,000 and 12,000 school children could be impacted by changes to after-school care regulations.
Thousands of parents have been warned that their children might lose their place due to new regulations set to be introduced this summer.
Under the Childcare Support Act (2018), school-age childcare providers taking part in the State's new National Childcare Scheme will have to employ one adult for every 12 children.
The act was signed by the Minister for Children Katherine Zappone at the end of last year.
Fianna Fail's Willie O'Dea said the regulations will make it impossible for many operators to continue providing services at current prices.
“They either get rid of some of the places or reduce it [...] or you take on some extra staff,” he said.
“If you take on extra staff, that is obviously extra cost and, seeing that many of those are working on a pretty low profit margin, inevitably some of that cost will be passed on to the parents.”
National Childcare Scheme
Operators who comply with the regulations will be eligible to take part in the new Affordable Childcare Scheme which will launch later this year.
This means subsidies will be available to parents on a means-tested basis.
Deputy O'Dea is calling on the government to allow more time for schools and parents to prepare.
“There has to be a longer transition period and maybe there should be discussions with the schools themselves and maybe some funding for them so that they can provide the services in some cases," he said.
"Because the kids will be attending those schools anyway.
“But certainly they will have to go back the drawing board because you are going to have a situation come September where – according to my estimates anyway – you are going to have 10,000 to 12,000 children discommoded.”
The new regulations are set to come into force from August 18th.