The Labour Party is considering setting up a system of public early childhood education centres if it leads the next government.
It says education providers could opt into the system in return for greater government responsibility for their property costs and teachers' pay.
The Government subsidises early childhood education provided by organisations that are either privately-owned or community-based and non-profit.
Its only direct responsibility in the sector are the pay and conditions of kindergarten teachers, who are covered by the State Sector Act.
Labour says that could change if it comes to power. It wants to consider creating a public early childhood education system, similar to the school system.
Labour says it has not costed the policy and is committed only to exploring the idea.