Sinn Féin's spokesperson for housing Eoin Ó Broin has said that childcare providers need a dramatic investment in core funding.

Speaking on Saturday with Katie Hanno, he also said additional energy supports for energy intensive businesses such as childcare must be seen in the Budget.

The cost of childcare must come down, he said, and this can only be achieved with increased public investment.

The Chairperson of the Federation of Early Childhood Providers said providers are not expecting much from the Budget.

Speaking on the same programme, Elaine Dunne said providers' costs are increasing and many are being forced to shut because the new core funding for the sector is inadequate.

She said that ECCE services are falling behind because they were not acknowledged with the funding.

Ms Dunne said that it is impossible for creches to turn down the heating and they cannot tell parents to send in an extra jumper for their child. She added that food bills have also increased.

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Ossian Smyth, said core funding for childcare providers is significant and he hopes that the Budget will also deliver significant help for parents.

Meanwhile, Labour Senator Marie Sherlock said there has been a permanent cost of living crisis in relation to childcare and housing in the country over many years.

She said €275 million must go to childcare providers to ensure that the costs for parents can drop.