The group that represents daycare owners on P.E.I. is defending its call for a freeze on new daycare licences.

Early Learning Operators of P.E.I. told CBC News Monday there are too many daycares with empty spots, and daycare workers are difficult to keep. Group chair Lynn Hogan said limiting the number of centres will improve their quality.

"We're hoping, instead of every centre having one good early childhood educator, then if there was less centres then you would have more of a pool to pick from. So maybe I could have two or three really strong childhood educators," said Hogan.

Currently anyone on P.E.I. can open a daycare by meeting certain criteria. The province is considering a cap on the number of licences.

Part of the problem with retaining staff, Hogan said, is rates of pay. Workers are leaving daycares for better paying jobs outside the industry. Hogan's association is also asking government to increase subsidies for daycares. Currently the province pays 91 cents per child per day. The Early Learning Operators want that boosted to $1.25 per child per day.

The province is planning to move quickly on the question, preparing any changes for the spring session of the legislature.