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

2-5 The link between costs and funding rates

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  • Introduction
    • The funding rates for all ECE services vary according to a range of costs usually faced by that service type. This section explains:

      • how the costs involved in providing early childhood education (ECE) are turned into funding rates
      • how the funding rates can be changed to reflect changes in costs, and
      • how information about costs will remain current.
  • How costs are turned into funding rates
    • The funding rates are made up of basic and variable components.

      The basic component reflects standard operating costs for all ECE services, for example:

      • administration costs
      • educational resources
      • professional services (e.g. ICANZ accountants)
      • utilities (electricity and telephone).

      The variable component provides a subsidy for the main categories of ‘cost- drivers’ that differ between ECE service types. For example, the variable component recognises that:

      • all-day services face higher costs than sessional services because they must meet different ratio requirements
      • services that are required to meet teacher certification requirements will have higher labour costs, and
      • centre-based services face higher facility costs than services that do not have to maintain a centre.
  • ECE Funding Subsidy and 20 Hours ECE rates
    • The ECE Funding Subsidy (and the Plus 10 ECE) rates are the same. These rates are intended to subsidise the cost of providing ECE and to share the costs between government and parents.

      20 Hours ECE hours are funded at a higher level because they are intended to meet the full average cost of providing ECE for each service type.

  • Changing the funding rates
    • The Ministry of Education will regularly review the main costs of ECE provision to advise the Government about the changes in costs faced by ECE services.

      Based on this advice, the Government may adjust the value of some, or all, of the funding rates.