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

13-2 Eligibility for Targeted Funding

Eligible services

Licensed early learning services that meet the criteria outlined in this chapter are eligible to receive Targeted Funding.

Early Learning services that have an estimated 20% or above Targeted Hours as a proportion of total Funded Child Hours (FCH) are eligible for Targeted Funding.

Ineligible services

The following early learning service types are not eligible to receive Targeted Funding:

  • Casual education and care services
  • Hospital-based services

Certificated Playgroups are not eligible to receive targeted funding.

Early learning services with fewer than six children/tamariki are not eligible to receive Targeted Funding. This is to protect the privacy of children/tamariki considered to be from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Early Learning Information (ELI) data

To complete the eligibility assessment, the Ministry will extract child-level attendance data from ELI. Early learning services should ensure their ELI data is kept up-to-date. Failure to do so may affect their funding entitlement.

Early learning services should ensure they enter the names of children/tamariki correctly and in full into ELI. This should be based on official documentation, such as birth certificates or passports.

Closures and suspensions

To be entitled to the full amount of Targeted Funding, early learning services must not close or be suspended during the period that Targeted Funding is provided for.

Any over funding of Targeted Funding is repayable by the early learning service to the Ministry.