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

3-A-2 Funding conditions

A symbol.  Books.

  • Introduction
    • Funding for all services is calculated using ‘Funded Child Hours’ (FCHs).

  • Funded Child Hours (FCHs)
    • FCHs are the hours for which a service may claim funding and are based on:

      • the hours a permanently enrolled child is enrolled to attend the service or
      • the hours a casually or conditionally enrolled child attends the service.
  • Maximum FCHs for the ECE Funding Subsidy
    • Services are eligible to claim the ECE Funding Subsidy for up to six FCHs per child-place per day, to a maximum of 30 FCHs per child-place per week (i.e. seven days).

      See Section 4-2 for the maximum FCHs for 20 Hours ECE Funding.

  • Example 1: Permanently enrolled child
    • The following table shows the number of FCHs that may be claimed for children with different enrolment agreements:

      Name Hours enrolledTotal hours enrolled per weekHours claimed (FCHs)Total FCHs per week
      Kathy 8 hours per day 40  6 hours per day  30
      David 4 hours per day 20  4 hours per day  20
      Tama
      • 8 hours on Monday and Tuesday
      • 4.5 hours on Thursday and Friday
      25
      • 6 hours on Monday and Tuesday
      • 4.5 hours on Thursday and Friday
       21
  • Example 2: Casually enrolled child
    • The following table shows how funding can be claimed for children who attend a service on a casual basis:

      Name BookingHours attendedTotal hours attendedTotal claimable FCHs
      Sione 8:00am – 11:00am 8:00am – 11:00am 3 3
      Pania 8:00am – 4:30pm 8:00am – 4:30pm 8.5 6
      Aaron 12:30pm – 3:30pm Did not attend 0 0
      Sarah 9:00am – 1:00pm 9:00am – 4:00pm 7 6
  • Example 3: conditionally enrolled child
    • Shane is permanently enrolled to attend from 8:00am-5:00pm Monday through Friday. Aroha is conditionally enrolled to attend from 9.00am – 3.00pm Monday through Friday Shane is absent on Monday. This means Aroha can attend for the day from 9.00am to 5.00pm

      NameBookingHours attendedTotal hours attendedTotal claimable FCHs
      Shane 8.00am – 5.00pm absent 0 6
      Aroha 9.00am – 3.00pm 9.00am – 3.00pm 6 0
      OR        
      Shane 8.00am – 5.00pm absent 0 0
      Aroha 9.00am – 3.00pm 9.00am – 3.00pm 6 6
  • Example 4: Shared child-place
    • Mae-Ling is enrolled to attend from 9:00am-4:00pm on Mondays. Six hours of funding can be claimed on Mondays for Mae-Ling’s child-place.

      If Mae-Ling only attends from 9:00am-1:00pm one Monday, another child (Tom) may attend from 1:00pm-4:00pm.

      Name Hours attendedTotal hours attendedTotal claimable FCHs
      Mae-Ling 9:00am -1:00pm 4 4
      Tom 1:00pm - 4:00pm 3 2
  • Funding begins
    • Funding for an enrolled child begins on the planned start date of their enrolment agreement.

      When a child does not attend on their planned start-date, one week of absences will be funded if:

      • the absence is due to illness or other reasons beyond the parent/guardian’s control and
      • there is an enrolment agreement for the child, stating the planned start date for the child, that was signed and dated by their parent/guardian prior to the child’s absence and
      • the reason for the absence has been documented with a medical certificate or letter from the child’s parent/guardian explaining the absence.

      The Ministry will recover funding claimed for absences where there is no signed enrolment agreement for the child (see Section 6-1 for further details on enrolment records).

  • Funding ends
    • Funding on the basis of enrolment ends:

      • the date that the child will no longer be enrolled and attending the service (the termination date of the enrolment agreement) as advised by the parent/guardian or
      • after three weeks of continuous absence (see Section 6-5 for further details on the Three Week Rule).
  • Public holidays
    • Funding can only be claimed if the service is open on the day the public holiday is observed.

      If the service is open, funding may be claimed for children who attend the service on that day or who are enrolled to attend on that specific public holiday.
      These are some examples:

      • Children enrolled on Mondays are not automatically enrolled on Labour Day unless Labour Day is specifically cited in their enrolment agreement.
      • Children enrolled on Fridays are not automatically enrolled on Good Friday unless Good Friday is specifically cited in their enrolment agreement.
      • Children enrolled on Mondays are not automatically enrolled on your region’s Anniversary Day Holiday unless the Anniversary Day Holiday is specifically cited in their enrolment agreement. Please note some regional Anniversary Days occur on a Friday. If this is the case the same rule will apply.

      Absences can be claimed only for children who were enrolled to attend on that specific holiday.

      Public holidays must not be included in advance funding claims and will be paid by wash up.

  • Teacher Only Days
    • Teacher Only Days are not funded.

      On the RS7 Return they are to be noted as TOD. Funded child hours and staff hour count are not to be entered for Teacher Only Days