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

7-4 Notional Rolls

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  • Introduction
    • Some ECE services have significantly different operating models and erratic patterns of enrolment and/or attendance due to their special function in the community.

      These services may require a different approach to funding so that continued viability of the service is ensured.

      The Ministry can approve funding on a notional roll in recognition of the special function of the service.

      Consideration of ECE services for notional rolls is both limited and at the Ministry’s discretion.

  • Examples
    • Examples of special services that may be eligible for notional rolls are:

      • women’s refuge centres
      • mobile kindergartens
      • hospital-based services.
      • ECE services that support Teen Parent Units.
  • Notional rolls
    • Services on a notional roll are funded on average actual attendance for a specified period. The Ministry's initial calculation of average actual attendance is based on past RS7 Returns.

      Services funded on notional rolls receive the same funding rates as other services. They do not receive additional funding (except where eligible for equity funding).

      Services cannot be funded on a notional roll and claim funding for normal funded child hours (FCHs) generated.

  • Applying for funding
    • Services funded on a notional roll claim their full notional roll figure for each day of operation, instead of entering their actual funded child hours on their RS7 Return. This means that services on a notional roll do not apply the Frequent Absence Rule when claiming funding.

      Notional rolls will be reviewed regularly against average actual attendance to ensure funding can be delivered fairly and accurately.

      ECE services on notional rolls must submit paper-based RS7 Returns

      Teacher-led services operating on a notional roll must keep Staff Records, and enter the Staff Hour Count in the usual way, calculating regulated (ratio) staff hours based on the children who actually attend.

  • Reviews
    • Notional Rolls are reviewed once each funding period for the first 12 months, and then at least once every 12 months after that.

      Following a review, the notional roll may be adjusted, or the ECE service may be returned to normal funding if it no longer meets the criteria for a notional roll.

      ECE services using a notional roll will need to submit their actual attendance data with their RS7 Returns (e.g. attendance data could be exported or printed from a Student Management System).