Some pre-schools say they will have to lose the equivalent of one qualified teacher to keep afloat financially because of cuts to government funding.
A survey by the Child Care Association suggests the funding cuts will mean the loss of between $20,000 - $50,000 for about 40% of pre-schools.
Some 180,000 children are in pre-schools. The Government cut early childhood education spending by about $20 million in the 2010 Budget in May.
The survey of about 200 pre-schools suggests that will lead to parents reducing the hours their child spends in day care.
Seventy one per cent of centres surveyed say the money will have to be recovered by raising fees, with 40% saying the increase will have to be by $1 per hour or more.
The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.6%.