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

2-1 The link between licensing and funding

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  • Licensing
    • There are legal requirements that must be met to operate any premises as an early childhood service.

      Licences are issued to early childhood education services under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008(external link).

      Licences set the standards for curriculum, premises and facilities, health and safety, and governance and management of early childhood services.

  • Certificated Playgroups
    • Certificated Playgroup funding is not covered in this Handbook.

      Playgroups do not receive the same level of funding as licensed ECE services.

      • Certificates are issued to Playgroups under the Education (Playgroups) Regulations 2008(external link).
      • Certificates set the standard for curriculum, ratio, premises and facilities, health and safety practices and administration.
      • Funding information and requirements for Playgroups can be found under Playgroup Funding on the Ministry’s early childhood education website.

      Contact your Ministry regional office for further information.