Thousands of people are expected at a march in Dublin later in protest at the lack of government funding in the childcare sector.
Organisers, The Early Years Alliance, say the issue of high fees and low pay has reached crisis point.
More than 1,700 childcare facilities, including daycare and pre-school services, will also close around the county as part of the action.
NWCI will be supporting the Early Years Alliance national protest for a solution to the childcare crisis this Wednesday - meeting at 11.30am at Parnell Square. #OneUnitedVoice pic.twitter.com/EmsKuGfI8B
— Womenscouncilireland (@NWCI) February 3, 2020
Chairperson of the Association of Childcare Professionals, Marian Quinn, said they've been left with little choice but to act.
"When parents are paying the equivalent of a second mortgage, they're obviously thinking that there's a huge amount of money going into the services.
"But [there's] the level of staffing required, along with the increased insurance costs and the requirements in relation to fire & safety.
"You continuously have to be building a contingency fund, and you're also paying for training, required manual handling, first aid etc... So it is very expensive."
Last meeting of The Early Years Alliance before the protest!!! Congratulations to all colleagues involved for everything we have achieved so far. It has been an honour. See you on the frontline in the 5th!! #oneunitedvoice pic.twitter.com/OKNEDzvEWS
— Jessica Lee McDonald (@JessicaLeeECE) January 30, 2020
Children's Minister Katherine Zappone said she doesn't believe today's action is a sign of failed government policy.
She observed: "I understand why people are taking to the streets. I do understand of course... that childcare professionals are not paid enough.
"I am absolutely in favour that they are paid more - but the early year educators and childcare professionals are not employed by the State, so the State doesn't determine their pay."