ECE Funding Handbook

Welcome to the Early Childhood Funding Handbook. This Funding Handbook is issued under section 548(5) of the Education and Training Act 2020(external link). The funding paid to licensed services is paid subject to the terms and conditions set out under this Handbook and must be complied with. The terms used in this Handbook are based in the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008.

This Handbook is designed to be a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all you need to know about early childhood funding, including:

  • the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Funding Subsidy
  • 20 Hours Early Childhood Education (ECE)
  • Equity Funding
  • the Annual Top-Up for Isolated Services

Note: The information in the Funding Handbook does not apply to certificated playgroups. These services should contact their Ministry regional office for further information.

Downloading the ECE Funding Handbook

If you want a printed copy of this handbook, refer to the list of downloads in the contents section where you will find downloadable PDF versions of each chapter.

ECE Funding Handbook downloads

Chapter 4: 20 Hours Early Childhood Education

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20 Hours Early Childhood Education (ECE) is a higher rate of funding than the ECE Subsidy. It enables ECE services to provide early childhood education to three-year-olds, four-year-olds and five-year-olds for up to a maximum of six hours per day for 20 hours per week per child without charging fees.

Funding cycle

20 Hours ECE is paid at the same time as the ECE Funding Subsidy – on the first working day of March, July and November.
For more information on when and how funding is paid see Section 2-4.

In this chapter

This chapter contains the following topics: