Starting a centre-based ECE service

This is a guide for service providers interested in establishing a licensed early childhood education (ECE) and care centre. Please make sure you read the whole document before taking further steps to establishing your ECE service.

Licensing Criteria Cover

Fees and funding

20 Hours ECE affects the way a service receives funding for 3, 4 and 5 year olds and the fees that can be charged for some children.

You cannot charge an extra fee for an enrolled child who is receiving 20 Hours ECE. Fees can be charged for additional hours of enrolment outside of 20 Hours ECE.

Usual enrolment fees or waiting list fees can be charged for children who will be using 20 Hours ECE at your ECE service. These fees must apply to all children, not just those receiving 20 Hours ECE. You must also ensure that these fees do not prevent children from accessing 20 Hours ECE.

Parents can be asked to pay optional charges for hours claimed as 20 Hours ECE. Donations may also be requested.

There are different kinds of early childhood administration software available to assist with the management of fees, subsidies, etc. These can be purchased from individual private companies.