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

10-3 Component B: Special needs and non-English speaking backgrounds

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  • Objective
    • The objective of Component B is to target funding to services that may have significant numbers of children with special education needs or who are from non-English speaking backgrounds.

  • Measurement
    • Eligibility for Component B is also determined by a service’s EQI.

      Component B is combined with Component A: Low Socio-economic Communities for eligibility and entitlement purposes. This is because there is a prevalence of children from non-English speaking backgrounds in low socio-economic communities.

  • Eligibility
    • Licensed ECE services with an EQI of 1, 2, 3 or 4 are eligible to receive funding under Component B: Special needs and non-English speaking backgrounds.

      Eligibility is not based on individual children. Your service may have children with low to moderate special needs in attendance, but not be eligible for funding against this component.

  • Support for individual children
    • Some support is available for children with high and moderate special needs. This may include specialist teaching and paraprofessional support for the child, or capability development for teachers and other adults involved with the child.

      For more information contact the Special Education Information Line 0800 622 222, or email

  • How is funding calculated?
    • The level of funding paid to each eligible service is determined by:

      • its EQI and
      • the funded child hours claimed by the service in the RS7 Return process.
  • Applications
    • Applications for Component B are not necessary. The Ministry of Education calculates the EQI for each service and notifies services that are eligible for funding.

      Further details of this process are available in Section 10-2 ‘Component A: Low socio-economic communities’.

  • Applying for a review of your EQI
    • Services with an EQI of 2, 3, 4 or 5+ are eligible for a review of their EQI, provided certain conditions are met.

      Further details are available in Section 10-2.

      If a service’s EQI is changed through this process, funding for both Component A and Component B will be changed.

  • Expenditure
    • All equity funding is ‘tagged’ and must be spent with the equity objectives for participation and quality in mind.
      Below are some suggestions for uses of Component B funding:

      • allow for additional staff time with children and their families/whānau
      • purchase specific learning or teaching resources
      • provide professional development for staff
      • engage specialist professionals
      • support transition from home to the early childhood service and from the early childhood service to school
      • improve staff:child ratios.

      These are just some of the ways that Component B equity funding can be used.