More than half of early years settings said staff work two jobs with low pay cited as the likely reason, in a survey commissioned by Cwlwm.
The survey received 362 responses from across all 22 local authorities in Wales and was carried out by Arad Research.
Recruitment and retention were also found to be challenging, with 54% of providers needing to replace staff in 2021 due to departures.
Responding to the results, Cwlwm – a consortium of five leading childcare organisations in Wales – said:
‘Cwlwm will continue to make the case that childcare is an important foundation in Wales for families and the economy, recognised as an essential worker role for both children and Wales to flourish/thrive.
‘Cwlwm will advocate for investment and funding to increase salaries across the sector and extend access to provision across Wales.’