ECE Funding Handbook

Welcome to the ECE Funding Handbook. This handbook is issued under section 548(5) of the Education and Training Act 2020.

Funding of certain services and certified playgroups – New Zealand Legislation(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' of everything you need to know about early childhood funding, including:

  • the ECE Funding Subsidy
  • 20 Hours ECE funding
  • equity funding
  • the annual top-up for isolated services.

This information does not apply to certificated playgroups

The information in the Funding Handbook does not apply to certificated playgroups.

These services should contact their Ministry regional office for more information.

Local Ministry offices

Download the ECE Funding Handbook

If you would like to print a 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

4-5 Beginning or ceasing to offer 20 Hours ECE Funding

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  • Introduction
    • This section is for services beginning, or ceasing to offer 20 Hours ECE.

  • First Advance of 20 Hours ECE
    • The table below shows the funding process for services claiming their first advance of 20 Hours ECE funding.

      Information on completing the EC20 Transitional Advance Form is in Section 7-9 of this handbook.

      1 The service requests an EC20 Transitional Advance Form from the Ministry of Education,
      2 The service completes and returns the EC20 to the ECE Operational Funding Team on

      The Ministry calculates the service’s advance payment based on:

      • the number of days the service will be open and
      • the calculated funded child hours for each day during a selected week for
        • Under Twos
        • Two and Overs not receiving 20 Hours ECE
        • 20 Hours ECE
        • Plus 10 ECE hours and
      • the date the service will begin offering 20 Hours ECE.
      4 The Ministry makes an advance payment to the service on the next available major payment date.
      5 The advance payment is washed-up against actual funded child hours on the next RS7 Return and 20 Hours ECE funding becomes part of the normal funding cycle.