The children ranged in age from 1 to 4 years old.
Two girls and four boys, all aged four, were killed and dozens of people were taken to hospital with severe burns in Janaúba, southeastern Brazil.
Although a police investigation has begun it is not yet known what led the security guard named locally as Damiao Soares dos Santos, aged 50, to carryout the attack which left 15 others in serious condition in hospital.
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Military police said the man also set himself alight at the building in Janauba, Minas Gerais state. BBC reports that some of those who were injured may need to be airlifted to specialized trauma centers in the state capital of Belo Horizonte.
The attack on the day care facility Gente Inocente (literally "Innocent People", in English) shocked the town of 72,000 in the countryside of Minas Gerais.
The security guard is accused of dousing people inside the day care center with flammable liquid before starting a fire..
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President Michel Temer moved to twitter and posted, "I immensely regret this tragedy involving children in Janauba".
As the father of, Temer said he understood "this must be an extremely painful loss" for the parents. "We hope these things will not happen again in Brazil".
Although the motive behind this atrocious attack still remains unclear, police superintendent, Renato Nunes, told Hoje em Dia newspaper that the guard had had mental health problems since 2014 and often sought the prosecutor's office to denounce his own mother.
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The municipality of Janauba announced a 7-day mourning in region.