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

7-2 Completing the RS3 Form

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  • Completing the advance days
    • Use a calendar to count up the number of days your service will be open and operating during the next five months.

      Advance funding is calculated separately for the days your service is operating as All-Day and operating as Sessional. Complete only the advance days column relevant to the service’s operating structure.

      Advance funding can only be paid up to the end of the current advance funding period. Refer to Section 2-4 for details on the funding cycle. Your Ministry regional office can also assist with further details.

      While the number of operating days in the first five months is collected on the RS3 form, new services do not necessarily receive advance funding for five months in their first payment.

      For information on advance funding please refer to Chapter 2 of this Handbook.

  • Advance funding exceptions
    • Playcentres choosing to take up 20 Hours ECE in their centres cannot claim initial advance funding for 20 Hours ECE.

  • Start date
    • Enter the date of the first day of operation. This is the date on which your funding will begin.

  • Estimating your ECE Funding Subsidy
    • Follow the steps below to estimate your children and hours for the ECE Funding Subsidy.

      Remember: you may claim up to six hours per day and 30 hours per week for each licensed child-place.

      Children receiving any 20 Hours ECE at your service must not be included in the Two and Overs estimate. Count them separately as your 20 Hours ECE funding.

      StepAction
      1 For each day of the week estimate the number of under two- year- old children that will be permanently enrolled in your service.
      2 For each day of the week estimate the total number of Under Two Funded Child Hours you will claim.
      3

      Complete the above steps for the children who are Two Years and Over.

      Note: Exclude three-year-olds, four-year-olds and five-year-olds that will be receiving 20 Hours ECE at your service.

  • Estimating 20 Hours ECE funding
    • Use the table below to calculate your 20 Hours ECE funding.

      Remember:

      • Your service may claim up to six hours per day and 30 hours per week of funding per child.
      • Up to 20 hours per week may be claimed as 20 Hours ECE for eligible children for whom a parent/caregiver has provided a signed attestation. Remaining hours up to the 30th hour may be claimed as Plus 10 ECE.
      StepAction
      1

      For each day of the week estimate the number of children receiving 20 Hours ECE that will be permanently enrolled in your service.

      This is the total number of three-year-olds, four-year-olds and five- year-olds you estimate will receive 20 Hours ECE.

      2

      For each day of the week estimate the number of 20 Hours ECE hours each child will claim. You must not claim more than six hours per day and 20 hours per week of 20 Hours ECE hours per child.

      Total the daily 20 Hours ECE hours for all children.

      3

      For each day of the week estimate the number of hours each child is permanently enrolled in your service. For each child use the lower of the enrolled hours or six hours per day up to a maximum of 30 hours per week.

      Total these by day for all children. This is the total hours that can be claimed.

      4 For each day of the week deduct the 20 Hours ECE hours (step 2) from the Total Hours (step 3). This is the Plus 10 ECE hours you will claim. 
  • Tip
    • Red lightbulb tip symbol

      The following is a list of things you may like to consider when estimating how many funded hours you will claim for Under Two, and Two and Over:

      • Estimate how many children you think will permanently enrol in your service.
      • Look at how many children are already permanently enrolled to attend your service when it opens.
      • If your service is to offer 20 Hours ECE, only count your two-year-olds as Two and Over hours. Count your three-year-olds, four-year-olds and five- year-olds separately in the 20 Hours ECE hours row. This is necessary so that your three-year-olds, four-year-olds and five-year-olds are not double-counted