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

7-4 Notional Rolls

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  • Introduction
    • Some ECE services have significantly different operating models and erratic patterns of enrolment and/or attendance due to their special function in the community.

      These services may require a different approach to funding so that continued viability of the service is ensured.

      The Ministry can approve funding on a notional roll in recognition of the special function of the service.

      Consideration of ECE services for notional rolls is both limited and at the Ministry’s discretion.

  • Examples
    • Examples of special services that may be eligible for notional rolls are:

      • women’s refuge centres
      • mobile kindergartens
      • hospital-based services.
      • ECE services that support Teen Parent Units.
  • Notional rolls
    • Services on a notional roll are funded on average actual attendance for a specified period. The Ministry's initial calculation of average actual attendance is based on past RS7 Returns.

      Services funded on notional rolls receive the same funding rates as other services. They do not receive additional funding (except where eligible for equity funding).

      Services cannot be funded on a notional roll and claim funding for normal funded child hours (FCHs) generated.

  • Applying for funding
    • Services funded on a notional roll claim their full notional roll figure for each day of operation, instead of entering their actual funded child hours on their RS7 Return. This means that services on a notional roll do not apply the Frequent Absence Rule when claiming funding.

      Notional rolls will be reviewed regularly against average actual attendance to ensure funding can be delivered fairly and accurately.

      ECE services on notional rolls must submit paper-based RS7 Returns

      Teacher-led services operating on a notional roll must keep Staff Records, and enter the Staff Hour Count in the usual way, calculating regulated (ratio) staff hours based on the children who actually attend.

  • Reviews
    • Notional Rolls are reviewed once each funding period for the first 12 months, and then at least once every 12 months after that.

      Following a review, the notional roll may be adjusted, or the ECE service may be returned to normal funding if it no longer meets the criteria for a notional roll.

      ECE services using a notional roll will need to submit their actual attendance data with their RS7 Returns (e.g. attendance data could be exported or printed from a Student Management System).