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.
12-4 Auditing financial reports
All services must have their general purpose financial statements or special purpose financial report audited by a chartered accountant who is a member of the Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), or CPA Australia Limited.
Tip: Services can find an auditor or check whether their auditor is a CA ANZ member by visiting the Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand website(external link).
Auditor must not also prepare statements
A service’s general purpose financial statements or special purpose financial report may be prepared by an accountant, financial advisor or other person who is associated with the service's management group. The person or entity that carries out the audit must be independent of that group.
The person or entity preparing or compiling the general purpose financial statements or special purpose financial report cannot also audit the statements or report.
Basic elements of audit report
Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) sets the auditing standards and members can obtain information from their website. In broad terms the basic elements of an audit report are the following:
- The formal name and status (such as charitable trust or incorporated society) of the reporting entity.
- An introductory paragraph identifying the accounting policies used.
- A statement indicating to the reader that it is the service's management group and not the auditor who is responsible for the preparation of the financial report.
- A paragraph indicating that the auditor is responsible for expressing an independent opinion on the financial statements. The auditor should also disclose whether he or she has any personal or professional interests/relationships with the centre other than as auditor.
- A brief explanation of the audit process and what the auditor has done to be able to give an opinion.
The audit report must be signed and dated by the auditor.
Services must send their audit reports to the Ministry along with their audited general purpose financial statements or audited special purpose financial report.
Reports on ‘targeted’ funding (i.e. Equity Funding, ATIS and Targeted Funding for Disadvantage), form part of the financial statements and must be audited.
Services may have their funding withheld if they fail to meet the audit requirements.