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

11-2 Funding claim audits and record keeping audits

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  • Purpose of the funding claim audit
    • The purpose of a funding claim audit is to:

      • verify that the service is claiming and receiving the correct amount of funding
      • verify that a service is meeting the record keeping requirements
      • provide advice and assistance to services about record keeping requirements.
  • Documentation required
    • You must supply the following documentation, for the period for which you are being audited, to the Ministry’s Resourcing Auditors as part of the funding claim audit:

      • RS7 Return
      • Attendance Registers
      • Enrolment Records
      • Staffing Record and copies of practising certificates and Early Childhood qualifications (Teacher-Led services only)
      • copies of New Zealand primary teacher qualifications
      • completed EC12 and EC13 Forms
      • audited general purpose financial statements or special purpose financial report.
  • Services will be audited on
    • Services of all types will be audited to verify the accuracy of their funded child hour entitlement claims.

      Teacher-led services will also be audited on:

      • Certificated and Other Teacher Hour claims (education and care services and all day kindergartens only)
      • qualifications of certificated teachers (education and care services and all day kindergartens only)
      • record keeping requirements for 20 Hours ECE.

      Education and care services that attest to paying their certificated teachers at the entry levels of the Early Childhood Education Collective Agreement of Aotearoa New Zealand1 must hold verification of this attestation. See Section 9-6 for further information.

  • The audit visit and report
    • The Resourcing Auditor will write to your service before the visit takes place, advising the time of the visit and the documentation you will need to have available.

      Funding claim audits of home-based care networks will take place in the area in which the network operates.

      An audit of a centre will generally take a full day, although sometimes longer periods may be required. The Resourcing Auditor will need a quiet place in which to work and access to a staff member who can answer any questions that arise.

      At the end of the visit the Resourcing Auditor will provide a verbal report of the findings to the licensee or the licensee’s authorised delegate.

      A formal written report will be sent to the service provider contact person. This will usually be within two weeks of the audit.

  • Funding and staffing adjustment
    • If the audit determines the service has been incorrectly funded the service will have their funding adjusted in the next funding cycle.

  • Appeals
    • The service provider contact person is able to appeal any audit findings in the report. The appeal must be filed within 20 working days of the receipt of the audit letter advising of the audit findings.

      The letter of appeal should be addressed to the Manager, Monitoring, Resourcing Division, Ministry of Education.