Funding and data

Resources and information about operational funding and data collection.

Funding handbooks

All information related to operational funding (also known as subsidy funding or bulk funding) is covered in the funding handbook.

There are two versions of the handbook available.

Funding handbook for:

  • national bodies and advocates of licensed early learning services
  • managers, administrators, educators, kaiako, parents and whānau working in licensed services
  • staff and administrators of centrally-administrated services
  • Ministry of Education staff.

Playgroup funding handbook for:

  • certificated playgroups funded by the Ministry of Education, especially management committees.

Also see the handbook updates:

Key funding dates 2021

Day and DateIDDescription
Friday, 1 January SH New Year’s Day
Monday, 4 January SH Day after New Year’s Day Holiday
Tuesday, 5 January - Ministry of Education National Office reopens
Monday, 1 February RS7 March 2021 electronic RS7 submission period opens
Monday, 8 February SH Waitangi Day Holiday
Tuesday, 9 February RS7 Last submission day of March 2021 RS7s for 1 March payment
Mid-February EQI New services to be advised of Equity Index assessment results and services that requested reviews
Monday, 1 March PMT 01 March 2021 ECE operational funding payment
Friday, 5 March RS7 Last submission day of March 2021 RS7s for 20 March payment
Friday, 2 April SH Good Friday
Monday, 5 April SH Easter Monday
Monday, 26 April SH ANZAC Day Holiday
Tuesday, 1 June RS7 July 2021 electronic RS7 submission period opens
Monday, 7 June SH Queen’s Birthday
Tuesday, 8 June RS7 Last submission day of July 2021 RS7s for 1 July payment
Mid-June EQI New services to be advised of Equity Index assessments
21 - 27 June - Annual ECE Return dates
Wednesday, 30 June FD Financial declarations due for financial year end in 2020
Thursday, 1 July PMT 01 July 2021 ECE operational funding payment
Thursday, 8 July RS7 Last submission day of July 2021 RS7s for 20 July payment
Friday, 1 October RS7 November 2021 electronic RS7 submission period opens
Thursday, 7 October RS7 Last submission day of November 2021 RS7s for 1 November payment
Monday, 25 October SH Labour Day
Monday, 1 November PMT 01 November 2021 ECE operational funding payment
Monday, 8 November RS7 Last submission day of November 2021 RS7s for 20 November payment
Saturday, 25 December SH Christmas Day
Sunday, 26 December SH Boxing Day
RS7 RS7 Return funding
SH Statutory Holiday – NB: services cannot claim SH in advance
EQI Equity Index for funding(external link)
PMT Early Childhood operational funding payment
FD Financial Declaration Collection

Further reminders on dates and important information will be advertised on and in He Pānui Kōhungahunga – the Early Learning Bulletin 

Financial declaration for early learning services

Before 30 June each year, services are required to submit an annual financial declaration relating to the previous financial year. This is a condition of Ministry funding and assures the Ministry that the funding is being spent appropriately. To find out more about the requirements of financial declarations, follow the link below.

Early learning service audits

The Ministry's resourcing auditors audit all early learning services to ensure that the service is receiving the correct amount of funding and to verify that the service is meeting their record keeping requirements. 

The Targeted Funding for Disadvantage scheme

The fund aims to improve the affordability and quality of early learning for tamariki/children from disadvantaged backgrounds and ensure that they start school ready to learn.

Equity funding for early learning services

Equity funding provides additional targeted funding to make early learning opportunities equally available to everyone. It also helps services to raise educational achievement regardless of people's cultural background, socio-economic status or location.

The 20 Hours ECE for ECE Services funding scheme

The 20 Hours ECE for ECE Services funding scheme reduces cost barriers so that more children can benefit from participation in ECE. For every eligible child, an early learning service will receive the 20 Hours ECE funding rate instead of the usual ECE funding subsidy rate.

The Early Learning Information system

The ELI is an information system that collects and stores information on enrolment, attendance and staffing.

We will use the information collected in ELI for the purposes of:

  • monitoring and ensuring student enrolment and attendance
  • encouraging attendance at early childhood services
  • ensuring education providers and students receive appropriate resourcing
  • statistical purposes
  • research purposes
  • ensuring student’s educational records are accurately maintained.

You can find more information about the ELI system and National Student Numbers on the ELI Homepage(external link).

Early learning statistics

The Education Counts website(external link) displays statistics on topics including:

  • the annual census of early learning services
  • participation
  • services
  • finances
  • staffing
  • Māori in early learning
  • Pacific Islanders in early learning.

Learn More

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