Attestation of minimum salary levels for certificated teachers

The information on this page should be read in conjunction with the ECE Funding Handbook.

Higher funding rates for teacher-led centre-based services are only available to services that agree to pay all primary and ECE qualified and certificated teachers employed by their service at or above certain minimum salary levels. Ensuring that certificated teachers are recognised and rewarded for their qualifications will contribute to increasing the number of certificated teachers working in early learning.

What are the required minimum levels?

The required minimum levels are shown below:

QualificationFrom 1 July 2017 
From 1 August 2019 
From 1 July 2020
Q1 $41,067 $45,491 $49,862
Q2 $41,067 $45,491 $49,862
Q3 $45,041 $45,491 $49,862
Q3+ $46,368 $46,832 $49,862

The Ministry will update the above salaries when new rates come into force.

To calculate an hourly rate, divide the annual salary by 2080 (52 weeks x 40 hours).

What are the qualification categories?

Q3+ means an early childhood teacher/kaiako holding:

  • a bachelor degree together with a recognised early childhood teaching qualification, or
  • a 4-year Bachelor of Education degree, or
  • a 4-year honours degree in teaching, or
  • a degree completed conjointly with a Bachelor of Teaching degree, or
  • a Bachelor of Teaching degree together with a relevant 120 credit specialist graduate or postgraduate qualification assessed at level 7 (or higher) on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) or equivalent, or
  • a Diploma of Teaching (ECE) plus an Advanced Diploma of Teaching (ECE) together with a relevant 120 credit specialist graduate or postgraduate qualification assessed at level 7 (or higher) on the NQF, or
  • a Bachelor of Teaching degree together with a relevant level 7, 120 credit graduate or postgraduate diploma.

Q3 means an early childhood teacher/kaiako holding:

  • a recognised 3-year early childhood teaching degree, or
  • an Advanced Diploma of Teaching (ECE), or
  • the Diploma of Teaching (ECE) or its equivalent, and they are attested as fluent in te reo Māori with a knowledge and understanding of tikanga Māori.

For the avoidance of doubt, where an employee has completed a 3-year Diploma of Teaching (ECE) and has done a one-year upgrade to a Bachelor of Teaching degree, this means the employee is classified as Q3, not Q3+.

Q2: means an early childhood teacher/kaiako holding: the Diploma of Teaching (ECE) or its equivalent and two-thirds of a degree as defined in clause 6(a)(viii) of the Early Childhood Education Collective Agreement of Aotearoa New Zealand (except a 3-year pre-service teaching degree); or a Higher Diploma of Teaching (ECE).

Q1: means an early childhood teacher/kaiako holding the Diploma of Teaching (ECE) or its equivalent.

What about primary qualified teachers?

Primary qualified teachers must be paid in accordance with the minimum level shown above that applies to their qualification.

Salaries reflect total remuneration

The salary levels shown above reflect the minimum total remuneration for employed certificated teachers. Employers may decide to include further allowances for these teachers – this is a matter for employers and employees.

How do services attest?

The RS7 Return is used to determine the rate at which each teacher-led centre-based service is paid. Please refer to the ECE Funding Handbook for more information.

What do the terms mean?

'All employed'

The term all employed means each certificated teacher who is employed primarily as an employee of the service (ie, they are working for hire or reward under a contract of service). Employed certificated teachers could be:

  • permanent full or part-time teachers
  • relief teachers (either short or long term), or
  • fixed term contractors (ie, contract of service is in place).

'Certificated teachers'

For ECE funding purposes, the term certificated teacher means a teacher who:

  1. Holds a current practising certificate (as issued by the Teaching Council) that is either:
    • full
    • provisional, or
    • subject to confirmation, and
  2. Holds a recognised ECE or primary teaching qualification, ie:
    • A New Zealand ECE teaching qualification
    • A New Zealand primary teaching qualification, or
    • An overseas qualification which NZQA has assessed as comparable to a NZ Initial Teacher Education qualification (ECE or primary)

'At least at the level'

The term at least at the level means the service is paying all employed certificated teachers’ salaries at, or above, the minimum level identified above.

Record-keeping requirements

All teacher-led centre-based services’ attestation results will be verified by the Ministry of Education to confirm that each certificated teacher was paid at least at the required level. Services are therefore required to maintain information to assist with verification.

This information will include copies of qualifications and current practising certificates already required to be held, and records to confirm salary or wage levels.

The term record refers to a document(s) that clearly identifies the:

  • annual salary (or hourly pay rate) each employed certificated teacher is paid
  • time period for which each employed certificated teacher was paid at this level, and
  • the employer and employee’s signatures (or signatures of authorised representatives).

The Ministry of Education will not seek to verify other employment conditions as part of this process.

Further advice

ECE funding questions

For further information on early childhood education funding, you can contact the Ministry of Education's Resourcing Contact Centre:

Phone: 0800 323 323 (ECE ECE)
Postal address: PO Box 1666, Wellington 6140.

ECE regulatory questions

For further information or guidance on your ECE regulatory requirements, contact your local Ministry of Education office.

Teacher registration and certification questions

For further information or guidance about teacher registration and certification, you can contact the Teaching Council:

Website: Teaching Council(external link)

Employment questions

For information on employment matters you can go to the Employment New Zealand website.

Employment New Zealand website(external link)

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