ECE Funding Handbook

Welcome to the Early Childhood Funding Handbook. This Funding Handbook is issued under section 311(5) of the Education Act 1989. The funding paid to licensed services is paid subject to the terms and conditions set out under this Handbook and must be complied with. The terms used in this Handbook are based in the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008.

This Handbook is designed to be a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all you need to know about early childhood funding, including:

  • the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Funding Subsidy
  • 20 Hours Early Childhood Education (ECE)
  • Equity Funding
  • the Annual Top-Up for Isolated Services

Note: The information in the Funding Handbook does not apply to certificated playgroups. These services should contact their Ministry regional office for further information.

Downloading the ECE Funding Handbook

If you want a printed copy of this handbook, refer to the list of downloads in the contents section where you will find downloadable PDF versions of each chapter.

ECE Funding Handbook downloads

Licensing Criteria Cover

2-2 Types of funding

A symbol.  Compass.  Books.

  • Introduction
    • There are four types of funding covered in this Handbook including:

      • ECE Funding Subsidy
      • 20 Hours ECE
      • Equity Funding
      • Annual Top-Up for Isolated Services (ATIS)
  • ECE Funding Subsidy
    • The ECE Funding Subsidy is the primary form of government funding for licensed ECE services.

      The ECE Funding Subsidy contributes to services’ operating costs by paying for part of each hour each child spends in ECE, to a maximum of six hours per child-place per day, 30 hours per child-place per week (i.e. seven days).

      The ECE Funding Subsidy is paid three times a year – in March, July, and November.

      Chapter 3 contains further information on the ECE Funding Subsidy.

  • 20 Hours ECE
    • 20 Hours ECE is a higher rate of funding than the ECE Funding Subsidy for three-year-olds, four-year-olds and five-year-olds for up to a maximum of six hours per child per day and 20 hours per week.

      There are additional requirements services must meet in order to receive this funding.

      20 Hours ECE funding is paid three times a year, along with the ECE Funding Subsidy.

      Please refer to Chapter 4 of this handbook for further information on 20 Hours ECE.

  • Plus 10 ECE
    • Plus 10 ECE describes the remaining 10 hours of funding a service can claim for each child in addition to the 20 Hours ECE hours. It is the difference between 30 hours ECE Subsidy funding and the 20 Hours ECE hours.

      For more information on the ECE Subsidy see Chapter 3 of this Handbook.

  • Equity Funding
    • Equity Funding provides additional educational resources to targeted communities to help improve access to early childhood education.

      Equity Funding is available to all licensed ECE services that meet certain criteria.

      Equity Funding is paid three times a year, along with the ECE Funding Subsidy.

      Please refer to Chapter 10 of this handbook for further information on Equity Funding.

  • Annual Top-up for Isolated Services (ATIS)
    • The Annual Top-up for Isolated Services (ATIS) is an income top-up for small licensed ECE services in isolated areas.

      The ATIS is separate from the Isolation component of Equity Funding.

      Licensed private and community-based services with an Isolation Index of 1.65 or greater which receive less than $20,000 per annum in ECE Funding Subsidy, 20 Hours ECE and Equity Funding are eligible to receive the ATIS (see Section 5-1 for more details).

      The ATIS is calculated annually in arrears. Payment is made each year with the July ECE Funding Subsidy payment.

      Chapter 5 contains further information on the ATIS.