ECE Funding Handbook updates

The Early Childhood Education Handbook details payment of government funding to early childhood services.

Updates

15 September 2021

There have been changes to the ECE Funding Handbook.

Information on changes made are detailed below.

If you prefer to keep a Funding Handbook in hard copy, please discard all chapters, appendices and the glossary and replace them with the updated versions available to download on the right hand side of the ECE Funding Handbook page(external link)(external link).

These sections and chapters have been changed:

Chapter 2

Section 2-6: Funding Rates

  • Links the Attestation for Certificated Teacher Salaries to a service’s funding rates

Chapter 3

Section 3-B: Teacher-led Services

  • Links the Attestation for Certificated Teacher Salaries to a service’s funding rates

Section 3-B-1: The link between teacher certification and funding

  • Updates related to the use of education and care service and kindergarten.

Section 3-B-2: Education and Care Service

  • A change to the section title to education and care services, along with updates related to this change.
  • The addition of the minimum salary for certificated teachers and conditions related to its use.
  • Changes to the examples to reflect the new attestation questions

Section 3-B-2a: Kindergartens

  • A new section explaining the funding conditions which apply to kindergartens

Chapter 7

Section 7-1: Funding for new services

  • An explanation of the link between the Attestation of Certificated Teachers’ Salaries and a new service’s funding rate.

Section 7-2: Completing the RS3 form

  • Details on the updated Attestation of Certificated Teachers’ Salaries on the RS3 form and its funding implications.

Chapter 9

Section 9-6: Attestation of Certificated Teachers’ Salaries

  • Details on the updated Attestation of Certificated Teachers’ Salaries on the RS7 return and its funding implications.

Chapter 11

Section 11-1: Record keeping requirements

  • Addition of record keeping requirements related to the Attestation of Certificated Teacher Salaries.
  • Clarification of records keeping requirements for different service types

Section 11-2: Funding claim audits and record keeping audits

  • Addition of records a service will be audited on in relation to the Attestation of Certificated Teacher Salaries.
  • Clarification of the records a service will be audited on

Glossary

  • The following terms have been added to the Glossary
    • Attest (Certificated Teacher Salary)
    • Base funding Rates
    • Kindergarten Teacher, Head Teacher and Senior Teacher Collective Agreement (KTCA)
    • Premium Funding Rates
    • Salary Scale
    • Teaching Council of New Zealand Aotearoa Standards | Ngā Paerawa
  • The following terms have been updated in the Glossary
    • Attest (20 Hours) – previously Attest, no change to definition
    • Certificated Teacher
    • Education and Care services
    • Teacher-led service
  • The following term has been removed from the Glossary
    • Early Childhood Education Collective Agreement of Aotearoa New Zealand (ECECA)

Appendix 1

  • Addition of the Premium Funding Rate Tables for all-day and sessional education and care services and hospital-based services.

Appendix 2

  • Updates to the Attestation of Certificated Teacher salaries sections on the RS3 form and RS7 return.

18 August 2021

There have been changes made to the Funding Handbook.

Information on changes made is detailed below.

If you prefer to keep a Funding Handbook in hard copy, please discard all chapters, appendices and the glossary and replace them with the updated versions available to download on the right hand side of the ECE Funding Handbook page(external link).

These sections and chapters have been changed:

Chapter 3 - The ECE Funding Subsidy

Section 3-B-2 Teacher-led education and care services

Certificated teacher absences and Discretionary Hours

Services should maintain a list of certificated relievers who are available when certificated teachers are absent.

An increase to discretionary hours will apply to education and care services, casual education and care services and hospital-based services, from 1 June 2021 until 31 January 2022.  During this time the Ministry will accept up to 80 discretionary hours per funding period when certificated relievers are not available, provided that the record keeping requirements described in this section are met.

Between 1 June 2021 until 31 January 2022 education and care services, casual education and care services and hospital-based services, may record the hours worked by relievers who are Other Teachers as Certificated Teacher Hours for the purposes of the Staff Hour Count up to a maximum of  80 hours during a funding period.

Centres may choose which hours these apply to – they do not have to apply to the first 80 discretionary hours.

For Kindergartens, the Ministry will continue to accept up to 40 discretionary hours per funding period when certificated relievers are not available, provided that the record keeping requirements described in this section are met.

Services are required to submit a record of the number of discretionary hours they have used in a funding period to the Ministry.

If no discretionary hours have been used, then no submission is required.

Discretionary Hours Reporting

Every service that uses discretionary hours during the current funding period, must submit a record of the total number of discretionary hours used.

Discretionary Hours report(external link)

Services that use an approved student management system (SMS) please contact your SMS provider if you require assistance in providing this information.

Services that submit paper-based RS7 or use ELI Web and have used discretionary hours during a funding period, must submit the Discretionary Hours report above along with their RS7.

Refer to the Glossary(external link) in this Handbook for definition of discretionary hours.

Section 3-B-4 Home-based ECE Services

Clarification around the transition to the qualified home-based workforce.

New quality rate requirements: required qualifications

Extension to recognise grandparented educators until January 2022.

New quality rate requirements: calculating the percentage qualification requirements

From January 2021:

- 30% of educators in a quality funded licence must hold a required qualification.

- Up to 20% can either be in induction (first 6 months on the quality licence) or enrolled training (up to a further 2 years).

- The remaining educators on the licence must hold at least 5 credits towards a required qualification a Level 4 or above.

Upcoming changes to quality rate requirements: percentage qualification requirements

The percentage qualification requirements for the quality funding rate will change each year until 1 January 2025 when there will only be one funding rate for home-based education and care.

The table below outlines the scheduled changes.

Date requirement is effective

Minimum percentage of educators with a required qualification

Maximum percentage of educators able to be in training or induction^

Educators with at least 5 credits towards a required qualification at Level 4 or above

1 January 2021

30%

20%

All remaining educators
(0-70%)

1 January 2022

50%

20%

All remaining educators
(0-50%)

1 January 2023

70%

20%

All remaining educators
(0-30%)

1 January 2024

80%

20%

This category no longer applies

^ Educators who do not yet have credits towards a required qualification.

Educators who join a quality funded licence without a completed qualification can only remain in induction for a maximum of 6 months, or enrolled in training up to a maximum of 2 years.

Section 3-C-3 – Playcentres

Changes to Group Supervision requirements for standard funding rates for playcentres.

  • Playcentre Sessions (course 3 of The Playcentre Diploma in Early Childhood and Adult Education)
  • Playcentre Practice (course 4 of the Playcentre Diploma in Early Childhood and Adult Education)

Group Supervision requirements for standard funding rates

In order to receive funding at the standard rate, playcentres must have:

  1. A supervision plan approved by Playcentre Aotearoa and,
  2. At least one person on each session who holds a qualification gazetted as meeting the Person Responsible requirements for Playcentres.

Acceptable qualifications for a person responsible are set out in a notice in the NZ Gazette. These include:

  • Playcentre in Context (course 5 of the Playcentre Diploma in Early Childhood and Adult Education)
  • The Playcentre Diploma in Early Childhood and Adult Education
  • A level 4 or above early childhood qualification recognised in the NZ Gazette(external link) notice as suitable for a person responsible in Playcentres
  • An ECE teaching qualification recognised by the Teaching Council for the purposes of registration.

To be eligible for quality funding rates, licensed playcentres must meet one of the qualification options below. Where two or more different qualifications are required, these must be held by separate people.

Until 31 December 2021:

  • Course 2 is recognised and interchangeable with the Playcentre Educator Award (PEA)

Playcentres with no Person Responsible

Funding may continue at the standard rate for playcentres who do not have a person responsible, provided the breach of qualification requirements is being managed through a provisional licence process. This is a temporary measure (generally for up to 3 months) and will only be considered where there is a clear action plan in place to fill the person responsible role.

Playcentres should contact their relevant Ministry regional office as early as possible to discuss their situation. It is important to note that if a playcentre does not meet the conditions on any provisional licence then the licence must be cancelled.

Changing funding rates

Funding rate changes for quality rate funding are effective from the date the EC11 Form, with all evidence required to assess the request, is received by the Ministry.

21 September 2020

There have been changes made to the Funding Handbook.

Information on all of the changes made is detailed below.

If you prefer to keep a Funding Handbook in hard copy, please discard all chapters, appendices and the glossary and replace them with the updated versions available to download on the right hand side of the ECE Funding Handbook page.

These sections and chapters have been changed:

Reference to the Education Council has been updated to the Teaching Council throughout the Handbook.

Reference to the Education Act 1989 has been updated to the Education and Training Act 2020 throughout the Handbook.


Chapter 3 – The ECE Funding Subsidy

3-B Teacher-led services

An update was made to the Introduction to clarify the qualification requirements for a person responsible in different service types.

 

Section 3-B-1: The link between teacher certification and funding

  • Changes were made to the requirements for Certificated teachers clarifying definition of an ECE qualified teacher
  • Update to Becoming certificated directing teachers to the Teaching Council website
  • Approved NZ teaching qualifications section has been added including a link to a list of approved teaching qualifications on TeachNZ website
  • Removal of Primary and secondary teachers section
  • Update to Overseas qualification section, removing reference to ‘primary teaching diploma or degree’ and replacing it with ‘NZ ECE or primary teaching qualification’
  • Removal of Recognition of prior learning (RPL) section.

 

Section 3-B-2: Teacher-led education and care services

  • Certificated Teacher Absences and Discretionary Hours.

 

Section 3-C-3: Playcentres

  • The distinction made between Operating Requirements and Supervision Requirements
  • Updates to Group supervision qualification requirements for standard and quality funding to reflect changes made by Playcentre Aotearoa to the qualifications they offer to parents.

 

Chapter 9: Completing the RS7 Return

 

Section 9-10: Declaration

  • Services were advised in December 2019 of the update made to the Declaration section of funding forms. This update now includes the amended and current wording.

 

Chapter 10 – Equity Funding

 

Section 10-2: The Equity Index 

  • Update to reference of EQI worked out based on 2006 New Zealand Census data

 

Glossary

  • EQI update made to clarify EQI worked out based on 2006 New Zealand Census data
  • Definition of Kindergarten Association has been added
  • Removal of Recognition of prior learning (RPL)
  • Teacher-led services update made to clarify the qualification requirements for a person responsible in different service types.


Appendix 1

  • Changes to funding rates.

 

Appendix 2

  • RS7 and RS3 forms were updated to include the revised declaration.

Please note: you will need to clear your browser history to be able to access the updated forms.

 

Appendix 3

  • Addition of Appendix 3 to include a list of Kindergarten Associations who meet the legal definition.

24 June 2016

We have made changes to the Funding Handbook.

There have been no changes to funding rates in this update.

Information on all of the changes made is detailed below.

If you prefer to keep a Funding Handbook in hard copy, please discard all chapters, appendices and the glossary and replace them with the updated versions available to download on the right hand side of the ECE Funding Handbook page.

The two important changes to be aware of are:

ChangeSections
Teacher registration and certification changes including the change to the Education Council 2-6, 3-B-1, 3-B-2, 3-C-3, 4-3, 7-1, 7-3, 9-overview, 9-4, 9-6, 11-1, Glossary
Casual and Conditional enrolments rules 3-A-1, 3-A-2, 4-2, Chapter 6, 7-2, 7-8, 9-2

Other clarifications made are:

ChangeSection
Rules around family members as home-based educators 3-B-4
The treatment of overseas trained teachers’ qualifications 3-B-1
The assessment and review process for services on Notional Rolls 7-4

There are other changes to layout, grammar and punctuation that do not impact on the intent of the information that have been made throughout the ECE Funding Handbook.

20 April 2015

We have reviewed and updated the entire Funding Handbook.

There have been no changes to funding rates in this update.

There are four important changes to be aware of:

  • New information about ELI Principles of Use
  • A change to the funding rule regarding the calculation of Discretionary Hours and clarification of the uses of Discretionary Hours
  • A change to the process for Emergency Closures and Substitute Days
  • Explanation of the uses of the EC20 form.

Information on all of the changes made in the Funding Handbook is detailed below.

If you prefer to keep a Funding Handbook in hard copy, please discard all chapters, appendices and the glossary and replace them with the updated versions available to download on the right hand side of this web page.

Introduction

The majority of the ECE Funding Handbook (the Funding Handbook) has been updated. This document explains which chapters and sections of the Handbook have changed.

Reason for the update

A review of the entire Funding Handbook has occurred. The changes resulting from this review include four substantive changes as well as clarifications and editorial changes.

The substantive changes are:

  1. New information about ELI Principles of Use (Section 2-7 and Chapter 6)
  2. A change to the funding rule regarding the calculation of Discretionary Hours and clarification of the uses of Discretionary Hours (Section 3-B-2)
  3. A change to the process for Emergency Closures and Substitute Days (Section 7-5) 
  4. Explanation of the uses of the EC20 form (Sections 4-6 and 7-9 and Appendix 2)

No changes to funding rates

Funding rates have not changed in this Funding Handbook update.

What should you do if you have a printed copy of the ECE Funding Handbook?

If you have a printed copy of the Funding Handbook, you should reprint and replace the entire Handbook.

What has changed?

Various changes that do not impact on the intent of the information have been made throughout the ECE Funding Handbook. These include:

  • changes to the layout, grammar and punctuation
  • changes from ‘RS7 Form’ to ‘RS7 Return’
  • addition of references to the Early Learning Information (ELI) System.

These changes are not individually listed here.

All other changes are listed by Chapter and Section.

Please read all the information applicable to your service.

All Sections and Chapters have been changed:

Table of Contents

  • Various changes to page numbers 
  • Addition of one section (7-9)
  • Removal of six sections (2-3, 4-6, 9-1, 9-7, 9-8, 9-9).

Where sections have been removed, existing numbering has been maintained for consistency of other sections and references throughout the ECE Funding Handbook.

Chapter One

Section 1-3: Quick reference directions

  • Removal of Support Grant for Provisionally Registered Teachers from table as this grant no longer exists.

Chapter Two

Section 2-1: The link between licensing and funding

  • Removal of references to licence-exempt services as these services are not regulated by the Ministry.

Section 2-2: Types of funding

Removal of:

  • reference to the Support Grant for Provisionally Registered Teachers
  • the description of Plus 10 ECE as being a new term.

Section 2-3: Other sources of ECE funding

  • Removal of this entire section as the grants no longer exist.

Section 2-7: Recovery of early childhood education funding

  • Addition of information about withholding funding in part or full if eligible services do not return data via the Early Learning Information (ELI) system.

Chapter Three

Section 3-B-2:

  • Teacher-led education and care services
  • A change to where current rates for teacher salary attestation can be found
  • Removal of the requirement to record the reason for registered teacher’s absence when using discretionary hours
  • A change to the way that discretionary hours are calculated
  • A change in the ‘example for March funding period’ to correct an error in the service’s funding band.

Section 3-B-3: Hospital-based services

  • A clarification has been made about required adult : child ratios.

Section 3-B-4: Home-based services

  • Removal of the Quality Rate requirements that applied prior to 1 July 2011.

Section 3-C-3: Playcentres

  • Addition of information about discretionary situations for Playcentres
  • Addition of information on the minimum qualifications for group supervision.

Chapter Four

Section 4-2: Funding conditions

  • A correction has been made to the Dual Enrolments & 20 Hours ECE example
  • Repositioning of information about the place sharing rule for 20 Hours ECE (from Section 9-3).

Section 4-5: First advance of 20 Hours ECE funding

  • A change of the section name to ‘Beginning and ceasing to offer 20 Hours ECE funding’
  • Changes to the table showing the funding process to be followed
  • Repositioning of ‘Ceasing 20 Hours ECE’ (from Section 4-6)

Section 4-6: The EC20 Form

  • Repositioning of ‘Ceasing 20 Hours ECE’ (to Section 4-5)
  • Repositioning of information on the EC20 form (to Section 7-9).

Chapter Five

Section 5-1: Annual Top-Up for Isolated Services (ATIS)

  • A change to how services eligible for ATIS are notified of their receipt of ATIS funding.

Section 5-2: Support Grant for Provisionally Registered Teachers

  • Removal of this entire section as this grant no longer exists.

Chapter Six

Overview

  • Addition of information about the Early Learning Information (ELI) system and how it is used
  • Addition of information about withholding funding in part or full if eligible services do not return data via ELI.

Section 6-7: The Frequent Absence Rule

  • Addition of information about lengthening periods of ‘extended non-operation’ to match current practice.

Chapter Seven

Section 7-1: Funding for new services

  • Removal of the table explaining when services will receive their first payment and instead referring services to their ECE regional office for further information.

Section 7-4: Notional rolls

  • A change to the description of how services using notional rolls apply for funding.

Section 7-5: Emergency Closure

  • Removal of the requirement to send approval letters to the Ministry with funding claims and the addition of instructions when submitting an electronic RS7 Return.

Section 7-6: Substitute days and hours

  • A change to how a service records substitute days to accommodate the requirements of electronic RS7 Returns.

Section 7-9 Addition:

  • The EC20 Form Repositioning of information about the EC20 form (from Section 4-6).

Chapter Eight

Section 8-1: Changing bank account details

  • Addition of instructions for services with only one bank signatory when completing an RS2 form.

Chapter Nine

Overview: Providing the RS7 Return to the Ministry

  • Addition of information on the electronic submission of RS7 Returns.

Section 9-1: Service profile information

  • Removal of this entire section as this information is no longer required with electronic submission of RS7 Returns.

Section 9-3: Calculating 20 Hours ECE funding

  • Repositioning of information about the place sharing rule for 20 Hours ECE (to Section 4-2).

Section 9-6: Attestation of registered teachers’ salaries

  • Clarification of the attestation requirement and where the rates can be found.

Section 9-7: Claiming the Support Grant for Provisionally Registered Teachers

  • Removal of this entire section as this grant no longer exists.

Section 9-8: Monitoring Progress: teacher registration targets

  • Removal of this entire section as this data is captured by both the ECE Return and the RS61 return.

Section 9-9: Monitoring Progress: children receiving 20 Hours ECE

  • Removal of this entire section as this data is captured by both the ECE Return and the RS61 return.

Chapter Ten

Section 10-2: Applying for a review of your EQI

  • Addition of information for new services applying for a review of their initial Equity Index (EQI) rating.

Chapter Eleven

Section 11-1: Record-keeping requirements

  • Clarifications about storing records in an electronic format have been made to ‘Record-Keeping’ and ‘Record Storage’ 
  • Removal of record-keeping requirements for the Support Grant for Provisionally Registered Teachers as this grant no longer exists
  • A change to where current rates for teacher salary attestation can be found.

Section 11-2: Funding claim audits and record-keeping audits

  • Removal of the ability to audit Support Grant for Provisionally Registered Teachers records as this grant no longer exists.
  • A change to the name of the collective agreement that services must attest to in relation to paying their registered teachers.

Chapter Twelve

Section 12-2: Types of financial reports

  • Removal of the Support Grant for Provisional Registered Teachers as the grant no longer exists
  • Removal of ATIS funding general purpose and special purpose financial report requirements as services no longer need to report how this is spent.

Section 12-3: Reporting requirements for targeted funding

  • Removal of the Support Grant for Provisional Registered Teachers from targeted funding examples.

Section 12-4: Auditing financial reports

  • Removal of the Support Grant for Provisional Registered Teachers from audit requirements.

Glossary

Term Added

  • The Early Childhood Education Collective Agreement of Aotearoa New Zealand (ECECA).

Terms Removed

  • Consenting Parties Agreement
  • Licence Exempt Service
  • Management Contact
  • Support Grant for Provisionally Registered Teachers

Definitions Changed

  • EC20
  • RS7 Return.

Section Reference Changed

  • EC20

Appendix 2

Sign In / Out Sheet for Early Childhood Centres

  • A change from requiring parent/caregiver initials to parent/caregiver signature for consistency with ELI and SMS forms.

Example Hospital Based Attendance Record

  • New sample form.

EC20 Form

  • Section removed as this form has been changed and is now only available on request from the ECE Operational Funding Team on ece.funding@education.govt.nz.

01 July 2014

There have been some important changes announced in Budget 2014.

These include increases to the funding rates for:

  • All-day and sessional kindergartens, and 
  • all other ECE services.

These changes are effective from 1 July 2014.

If you prefer to keep a Funding Handbook in hardcopy, please discard Appendix One. Replace them with the updated versions available on this website.

01 July 2013

There have been some important changes announced in Budget 2013.

These include increases to the rates for:

  • Equity Funding, Components A, B and C,
  • All-day and sessional kindergartens, and 
  • all other ECE services.

These changes are effective from 1 July 2013.

If you prefer to keep a Funding Handbook in hard copy, please discard Appendix One. Replace them with the updated versions available on this website.

18 February 2013

The ECE Funding Handbook has been updated to reflect changes made to the Enrolment Agreement form.

Some changes have been made to the mandatory sections of the Enrolment Agreement form as part of the roll-out of the Early Learning Information (ELI) system beginning in 2013.

Some wording, grammatical and formatting changes have also been made to other sections of the Enrolment Agreement form.

If you prefer to keep a Handbook in hard copy, please discard Appendix 2 and replace it with the updated version.

1 July 2012

The ECE Funding Handbook has been updated to reflect clarification provided around optional charges, which are a component of the provision of 20 Hours ECE.

29 June 2012

The ECE Funding Handbook has been updated to reflect changes made to the Home-based ECE Quality Funding Rate criteria. Registered primary school teachers are included in the qualification requirements for home-based quality rate funding (Chapter 3-B-4).

If you prefer to keep a Handbook in hard copy, please discard Chapter 3 and reprint it.

24 May 2012

The ECE Funding Handbook has been updated to reflect increases made to Equity Funding in Budget 2012. These increases come into effect from 1 July 2012.

If you prefer to keep a Handbook in hard copy, please discard the following chapters and reprint them.

26 September 2011

The ECE Funding Handbook has been updated to reflect changes made to the Support Grant for Provisionally Registered Teachers (PRTs) from 1 July 2011.

If you prefer to keep a Handbook in hard copy, please discard the following chapters and reprint them.

19 May 2011

There have been some important changes announced in Budget 2011.

These changes include:

  • the extension of Equity Funding to all eligible licensed ECE services effective from 1 July 2011,
  • new rates for all-day and sessional kindergartens, and
  • an increase in rates for all other ECE services effective from 1 July 2011.

If you prefer to keep a Funding Handbook in hard copy, please discard chapters 2, 10, the Glossary and Appendix One. Replace them with the updated versions available on this website.

28 February 2011

The ECE Funding Handbook currently states that the change to quality rate funding eligibility requirements will occur from 1 March 2011. The change in requirements includes the option for educators to hold some credits of a Level 4 ECE qualification listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.

The Ministry has deferred the implementation date for the revised eligibility requirements. New eligibility requirements will now come in to force on 1 July 2011.

This change in implementation date is an outcome of advice from ECE qualification providers to support the update and review of qualifications available to educators.

Current quality rate funding eligibility requirements will remain until 1 July 2011.

The ECE Funding Handbook will be updated accordingly.

February 2011

Information on optional charges has been updated on 4-3 Fees, donations and optional charges.

Important changes effective from 1 December 2010

New info: Frequent Absence Rule: extension for extended non-operation

Services that do not operate for a period of two weeks or more may extend the Frequent Absence Rule where a child has already been frequently absent the previous month.

The Frequent Absence Rule must be continued from the next full month of operation after the period of non-operation.

For example, if a pattern of frequent absence first occurred in the month of December, this would be month one. If a service did not operate in January for a period of two weeks or more and February was the next full month of operation, February would be month two.

Some examples of extended non-operation where the Frequent Absence Rule can be suspended are:

  • Christmas holidays
  • ‘end of term’ holidays
  • when a service is closed for renovations.

Note: this information is not currently in the Handbook, but will be added in the near future. This information is applicable as of 1 December 2010.

September 2010

Since the last version of the Handbook there have been a number of changes. The Handbook has been updated to include changes announced in Budget 2010:

  • the removal of the 80-99% and 100% funding rates in Appendix One effective from 1 February 2011
  • a change to the optional charge rule effective from 1 February 2011
  • the inclusion of New Zealand qualified and registered primary teachers for funding purposes effective from 1 November 2010
  • the new home-based educator qualification requirements for quality rate funding.

If you prefer to keep a Handbook in hard copy, please discard the following pages and reprint them.

July 2010

June 2010

The Funding Rate Table in Appendix One has been updated to show the increase in GST and the new funding band from February 2011.

23 March 2010

The Handbook has been updated to include:

  • the new Education (early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008 terminology
  • the name change to 20 Hours ECE which occurred last year
  • eligibility to 20 Hours ECE for five-year-olds and those attending playcentres and kōhanga reo from 1 July 2010, and
  • other changes. For example the new term Plus 10 ECE, which is the new label for what was previously called 'Free Subsidy'.

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