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

5-1 Annual Top-Up for Isolated Services

A symbol.  Books.

  • Introduction
    • The Annual Top-Up for Isolated Services (ATIS) assists small licensed services in isolated areas to maintain access to ECE.

      Funding is targeted to services with a limited capacity to generate Funded Child Hours due to isolation.

  • Eligible services
    • All licensed ECE services are eligible for the ATIS if they meet the following criteria:

      • An Isolation Index1 of 1.65 or greater and
      • Generation of between $5,000-$19,999.99 in ECE Funding Subsidy, 20 Hours ECE funding and Equity Funding payments between 1 June and 31 May each year.
  • Ineligible services
    • Services not eligible for ATIS include:

      • casual education and care services
      • hospital services and
      • other services funded on notional rolls.
  • Structure of the ATIS
    • The ATIS is a ‘two-tier’ entitlement system:

      If your service will be topped up to...
      $5,000-$10,000.99 in ECE Funding Subsidy, 20 Hours ECE funding and Equity Funding payments between 1 June and 31 May $15,000
      $10,001-$19,999.99 in ECE Funding Subsidy, 20 Hours ECE funding and Equity Funding payments between 1 June and 31 May $20,000
  • Applications
    • Applications for the ATIS are not necessary. The Ministry identifies eligible services using the Isolation Indices and funding data. Eligible services will be advised of their receipt of ATIS on the ECE Funding Notice that accompanies their July funding payment.

  • Payment date
    • The ATIS is paid annually in arrears with the July funding payment.

  • Service providers
    • The ATIS is intended as a top-up for the specified service only. Isolated services that are grouped under one service provider may choose to combine several ATIS payments if this better ensures their sustainability.

      Centralised use of funding should only take place with the full agreement of the service to which the ATIS is due.

      Services that believe they have received less than their full ATIS entitlement should contact their service provider.

  • Reporting requirements
    • Services must report on the ATIS as part of their financial reporting on the ECE Funding Subsidy.

      See Chapter 12 for information on financial reporting requirements.