My ELI Data

painting child

Common terms

Terms Description
ECE Early Childhood Education
ELI Early Learning Information system
NSN National Student Number
SMS Student Management System
Ministry Ministry of Education

It is a condition of funding that licensed early childhood services provide information to the Ministry. The collection of information requirements is outlined in Chapter 14 of the ECE Funding Handbook.

ECE Funding Handbook

What is a booking

Bookings are the days and times each child is expected to attend the service, based on the information provided in the child’s Enrolment Agreement Form, signed and dated by the child’s parent/guardian.  Bookings are also referred to as ‘enrolled to attend’ in the ECE Funding Handbook.

Enrolling casual children

All children who attend early childhood services casually need to be enrolled at your service and require having an NSN assigned to them.  The child’s attendance for the days they do attend will need to be recorded in your service’s SMS or ELI Web.  Casual children do not need to have a booking for the days that they attend your service due to the casual nature of their attendance.

How should I record attendance and absence for ELI

You should mark children’s daily attendance (or absence) by recording the actual time the child arrived at your service and the actual time the child left your service.  Attendance should be recorded as close to the actual time as possible, to the nearest 15 minutes.

If a child has multiple sessions in a day but did not attend one of them, you should only record the times the child did attend, with no absence record.

It is recommended that early learning services update their attendance records at least weekly.

How do I enter attendance details for a child that attended my service on a day they were not booked to attend

If an enrolled child attended your service on an additional day, or a substitute/make-up day, you should:

a) mark the child as absent on the day they did not attend (if relevant), and

b) add the attendance times to the day that the child did attend.  You do not need to add a booking for these days.

What does it mean to 'confirm' my service's data and why do I need to do it

Confirming your ELI data means that you acknowledge that the information you have entered and sent to the Ministry is complete and accurate.  Services must confirm data at least once a month; the previous month’s data is required to be confirmed by the end of the following month.  Both ELI Web and SMSs include the data confirmation function.

Can I go back and change my data after I have confirmed it

If you have made a mistake, you can make changes to your ELI data even if you have confirmed this data.  Your changes will be visible to the Ministry the next day; you will not be required to reconfirm the updated data.

My service is changing SMS/ELI web. What do I need to do.

Before you change the way your service submits ELI data, you need to:

  • Advise the Ministry and provide the intended date of change.


Freephone 0800 323 323(external link) (NZ Only)

  • Advise your new SMS provider (or the Ministry if using ELI Web) of the date you intend to begin using their software and complete the relevant forms for ELI access from the Resources page. 
  • Update all of your ELI data.
  • Ensure you have allocated NSNs to all enrolled children.
  • Ensure all enrolment and attendance data in your system is up-to-date.
  • End all enrolments as at the last day your service uses the old system.
  • Re-enrol all children in your new system as at the first day of operating using your new system.

Resources page — Ministry of Education

My service is closing, what do I need to do

If your service is closing, or has closed, you need to:

  • Inform the Ministry of Education if you have not done so already,
  • Ensure you have allocated NSNs to all enrolled children,
  • Ensure all enrolment and attendance data in your system is up to date, 
  • End all enrolments as at the last day of your service’s operation.

You may be contacted by the Ministry if these actions have not been taken as it is a requirement of the ECE Funding Handbook to provide complete and accurate data to the Ministry.

ECE Funding Handbook - Ministry of Education

What do I do if a child leaves my service

If a child leaves your service you will need to ensure the child has an NSN and up-to-date attendance before ending the enrolment for the child on the day they left.  There should be no attendance for dates after the enrolment end date.

What do I do if a child who has left my service re-enrols

If a child has left your service and re-enrols, you will need to:

  • Select the child in your SMS or ELI Web, their information should still be in your system with the NSN that was originally assigned to them.  There should be no need to set this child up again as you will not be able to reuse the same National Student Number for two child records within your service.

Create a new enrolment and enter the booking details of the child. The previous enrolment must be ended before the new enrolment is created.

How do I set up multiple billing accounts for a child

You will need to contact your SMS provider for instructions on how to set up multiple billing accounts.  There should be no need to set this child up again as you will not be able to reuse the same National Student Number for two child records within your service.

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