ELI principles of use

ELI information is used by the Ministry of Education for educational research, statistics, monitoring, funding, reporting to Government and the public, and resourcing. To ensure the information is complete and accurate, licensed early learning services, unless specifically exempt, need to return the following information through the Early Learning Information (ELI) System:

Children’s National Student Numbers (NSNs)

Each child who enrols in ECE requires a National Student Number (NSN). The NSN stays with the child throughout their primary, secondary and tertiary education. To support the allocation of unique NSNs, services must sight a copy of each child’s official identification document and enter the child's details into ELI, as written on the sighted document. It is not best practice to keep photocopies.

Photocopying proof of identity – Office of the Privacy Commissioner(external link)

National Student Numbers

Up-to-date child enrolment and attendance information

Enrolment and attendance information should be updated and confirmed at least monthly. Early learning services need to confirm the completeness and accuracy of their child participation information through the ELI system at least once a month. The previous month’s information needs to be confirmed by the end of the following month. This is done using the confirmation function within ELI Web or an alternative approved Student Management System (SMS).

ELI Web – Ministry of Education Applications(external link)

ECE Funding Handbook

The ECE Census

The ECE Census or ECE Return is an electronic collection of information from early learning services that focuses on service activity at a specified time, as advised by the Ministry. The ECE Census replaces the paper-based RS61 form for services that are connected to the ELI system.

ELI Census

ECE funding handbook

The Electronic RS7 return

The electronic RS7 return is the main funding claim for early learning services. The electronic RS7 Return replaces the paper-based RS7 Return for services connected to ELI. Collection of information requirements for the RS7 Return can be found in Chapter 9 of the ECE Funding Handbook.

RS7 returns

ECE funding handbook

Note: Early learning services that are exempt from connecting to the ELI system must send the information required by the Ministry via paper-based substitutes, including the RS61 and RS7 forms.

For information about how to connect to ELI, refer to the ELI Information Pack for New ECE Services on the Resources page.


Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback