The Early Childhood Council is calling for relief for childcare centres.
Chief executive Peter Reynolds says the sector's short hundreds of staff and the ministry's not helping.
He told Heather du Plessis-Allan the Council presented ideas for change to the ministry last October.
"The Minister's officials then dismissed those ideas and have brought nothing to the table. They've been focused on pay rate negotiations in primary."
He says the Ministry could bring in more staff by loosening some rules for the next 18 months.
Reynolds says loosening rules, without putting quality at risk would help ease pressure.
"The most problematic rule is what's called the adult child ratio. Having the right number of adults in a childcare centre to look after the children is really important, but they don't all need to be teachers."
He hopes that a meeting with Minister Chris Hipkins at the end of August will produce solutions.