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

9-3 Calculating 20 Hours ECE funding

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  • Example
    • Throughout this section there are examples of two services calculating their 20 Hours ECE funding.

      • Kowhai Street Childcare Centre is an all-day service.
      • James Cook Kindergarten is a sessional service.
  • 2.5 hour sessions
    • A session of 2.5 hours will receive funding for 3 hours.

      2.5 hours will be claimed as 20 Hours ECE hours and 0.5 hours claimed as Plus 10 ECE hours.

  • Calculating 20 Hours ECE entitlement
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      Follow the steps below to calculate the 20 Hours ECE Funding:

      20 Hours ECE funding includes both the 20 Hours ECE hours and the Plus 10 ECE hours.

      1 List the daily number of hours of enrolment for each enrolled child eligible for 20 Hours ECE.
      2 If any children eligible for 20 Hours ECE attended the service on a casual basis and received 20 Hours ECE, list the number of hours each of these children attended.

      List the number of hours that can be claimed for each child.

      A maximum of six hours per day and 30 hours per week of funding can be claimed per child.

      • 20 Hours ECE hours must only be claimed for up to 20 hours per week for each child.
      • The remainder (up to 30 hours) may be claimed as Plus 10 ECE hours.
      4 Add together the claimable hours for each day. 

      Round the totals to the nearest whole number.

      Numbers ending in 0.5 or above may be rounded up to the next number. Numbers ending in 0.4 or below should be rounded down to the previous number. 

      6 Repeat Steps 4-5 for each day in the month. 
      7 Write the totals for each day in the columns labelled “20 Hours ECE hours” and “Plus 10 ECE hours”. 
      8 Add together the daily totals each month. 
      9 Write the totals for the month in the boxes labelled “Total”. 
  • All-day example
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      On 1 September, Kowhai Street Childcare Centre had five children enrolled and receiving 20 Hours ECE.

      Kowhai Street all day example

  • Sessional example
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      James Cook Kindergarten operates two sessions per day. Session 1 is for 3 hours and session 2 is for 2.5 hours.

      A session of 2.5 hours will receive funding for 3 hours. 2.5 hours will be claimed as 20 Hours ECE hours and 0.5 hours must be claimed as Plus 10 ECE hours.

      James Cook Kindergarten