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

7-8 Transitional school visits

A Symbol Books

  • Introduction
    • Some early childhood services choose to offer a ‘transition’ period between early childhood education and school attendance.

  • General funding rule
    • The ECE Funding Subsidy must only be claimed for children less than six years of age who are not enrolled in school.

      Once a child is enrolled at school, no funding can be claimed by an ECE service.

  • Transitional school visits funding rule
    • Children under six years of age who are enrolled at an ECE service may attend school as part of a transitional school visit.

      The service will be funded for the child’s permanently enrolled hours at the ECE service, as per the usual funding system.

  • Recording school visits on the enrolment agreement
    • Transitional school visits must be specifically noted on the child’s enrolment agreement.

      As a minimum, records should include the:

      • date the transition arrangement began
      • signature of a parent/caregiver (dated).
  • Recording absences
    • Children who are absent on a day when a school visit was planned should be recorded as absent with an ‘a’, as usual.

      The normal absence rules apply to these absences.

      For more information on the absence rules refer to Chapter 6 of this Handbook.

  • Exemption from Frequent Absence rules
    • School visits recorded on the attendance record with ‘SV’ will not be counted towards the Frequent Absence Rule.

      School visits counted towards the attendance will be recorded on the attendance record.

      If the school visit is not recorded, then the absence rules will be applied.

  • Example
    • Sione currently attends Huia Playcentre from 8:00am to 11:00am on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

      Huia Playcentre arranges for Sione to visit James Cook Primary School from 8:30am to 11:00am every Wednesday for one month before he begins attending James Cook Primary School.

      Huia Playcentre marks their attendance register with ‘SV’ each Wednesday when Sione is on a school visit. Funding may be claimed for Sione’s enrolled hours as per the normal funding system.

      If Sione is absent from Huia Playcentre on a day when he would usually go on a school visit, his absence must be marked with an ‘a’ on the attendance register. The normal absence rules apply to this absence.