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 Records
      • Copies of practising certificates and Early Childhood qualifications (Teacher-Led services only)
      • Copies of New Zealand primary teacher qualifications (Teacher-Led services only)
      • Copies of overseas qualifications and the NZQA assessment of those qualifications (Teacher-Led services only)
      • Copies of the letter of registration with an ECE or primary endorsement from the New Zealand Teaching Council (Teacher-Led services only)
      • Completed EC12 and EC13 Forms
      • Audited general purpose financial statements or special purpose financial report.
      • Records that demonstrate the employment relationship and the pay rate of the employed certificated teacher (education and care services and hospital-based services only).
  • Services will be audited on
    • Services of all types will be audited to verify the accuracy of their funded child hour entitlement claims including record keeping requirements for 20 Hours ECE.

      Services that are required to keep a Staff Hour Count (education and care services, hospital-based services and all-day kindergartens), will also be audited on:

      • Certificated and Other Teacher Hour claims
      • qualifications of certificated teachers

      Education and care services and hospital-based services that attest to paying all employed certificated teachers at least the amount specified at Step 1 of the salary scale described in Section 3-B-2 must hold verification of this attestation. This must include copies of signed employment contracts, letter of appointment and letter(s) confirming changes in salaries paid to certificated teachers, including certificated relievers.

      Education and care services that attest to paying all employed certificated teachers according to the criteria for the full salary scale described in Section 3-B-2 must hold verification of this attestation and evidence of the factors used to determine a teacher’s initial and current salary step. This must include copies of signed employment contracts, letter of appointment and letter(s) confirming changes in salaries paid to certificated teachers, including certificated relievers. It must also include evidence of service recognition, previous relevant work experience, salary progression and other factors used to determine a teacher’s initial and current salary step. See Section 3-B-2 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.

  • Funding and attestation adjustments
    • Education and care services or hospital-based services who are found to have not met their attestation obligation for Step 1 of the salary scale described in Section 3-B-2 will have their funding adjusted to the applicable 0 – 24% base funding rate.

      Education and care services or hospital-based services who are found to have not met their attestation obligation for the full salary scale described in Section 3-B-2 will have their funding adjusted to the applicable base funding rate. The 0 – 24% base funding rate will be used for services who also do not meet their attestation obligation for Step 1 of the salary scale. While the funding band for services who do meet their attestation obligation for Step 1 of the salary scale will be determined using the proportion of certificated teacher hours calculated for the funding period.

      Any overpaid funding will be recovered 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.