There is a severe shortage of creche places for babies and toddlers as a result of the free childcare scheme for three to five-year-olds.
The Government funded scheme now caters for 120,000 children a year.
That is more than double the 52,600 figure in 2009.
According to the Irish Independent, parents are delaying their return to work after maternity leave because they cannot find a creche place.
Recent figures indicate that, in the early-years sector, toddlers aged one to three years accounted for only 16% last year - down from 20% in 2015-16.
The majority of the 179,000 children enrolled in childcare facilities nationwide were pre-schoolers.
Early Childhood Ireland first warned of a capacity problem back in a 2016 report.
In its 'Doing the Sums' document, it said: Despite the low capitation rates paid under ECCE [Early Childhood Care and Education], baby and toddler rooms, in general, still cannot compete with the predictability and dependability of the revenue stream produced by an ECCE room."
It warned of "a trend for providers towards an ECCE-only model, alongside school age childcare, as a means of maintaining their viability."
"This has led to a reduction in the provision of non-ECCE childcare, such as year round full daycare and care for the under 3s.
"As it stands, for the majority of childcare services, full day care represents a very small portion of the overall number of children in the service".
"If left unchecked, non-ECCE services may be further reduced, or removed entirely", the report added.
Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, CEO of Early Childhood Ireland Theresa Heaney said the biggest issue is staffing.
"Most of our members would be happy to expand their offer for parents, if they could predict that they would be able to recruit well-qualified staff to work in their services.
"But that's an enormous issue because the low rates of pay in this sector mean it's very hard to attract the best qualified staff".