A number of creche and pre-school facilities across the region have closed today, with thousands of childcare workers taking part in a march in Dublin in protest at the lack of government funding in the childcare sector.
The Early Years Alliance, organisers of today's event, say the issue of high fees and low pay has reached crisis point and needs to be addressed.
More than 1,700 childcare facilities, including daycare and pre-school services, have closed around the country as part of today's action.
Claire Morahan runs the Smarties Montessori school and after-school facility in Fahy, Westport.
She's closed her business today to take part in the march in Dublin, and has told Midwest News that childcare workers deserve more respect and recognition.