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

7-9 The EC20 Transitional Advance Form

A Symbol Books

  • EC20 Form
    • Services that wish to apply for a recalculation of their advance funding should contact the ECE Operational Funding team on to discuss their situation and to obtain an EC20 form if appropriate.

      The Transitional Advance Form (EC20) is used to calculate, or recalculate, advance funding for services in a number of situations such as:

      • services beginning, or ceasing, to offer 20 Hours ECE
      • licence mergers or increases
      • significant increases or decreases in enrolments

      Existing services can opt into 20 Hours ECE at any time but will only be advance funded for 20 Hours ECE on one of the major funding runs (1 March, 1 July, and 1 November).

      Completed EC20 forms must be returned to the ECE Operational Funding team.

      The Ministry will use the information provided on the EC20 to calculate the advance funding. Timing of that payment will be discussed with service providers when an application is received. Submission of an EC20 form does not guarantee a recalculation of a service’s advance funding.

      The next funding payment will include accurate wash-up funding based on actual funded child hour data submitted on the RS7 Return.

  • Effective date for the change
    • This is the date from which the change of circumstances takes effect. For example, the date on which the service begins offering 20 Hours ECE, or the date on which the licensed maximum number of children increased.

  • Funded Child Hours
    • For each day of an average week in the advance period, services provide the number of funded child hours they would claim as:

      • Under Two
      • Two and Over
      • 20 Hours ECE hours
      • Plus 10 ECE hours.

      Services may claim:

      • up to six hours per day, and 30 hours per week for each child eligible for 20 Hours ECE (made up of 20 Hours ECE hours and Plus 10 ECE hours)
      • up to six hours ECE Funding Subsidy (Under Twos and Two and Overs) per licensed child-place per day.

      Services must provide evidence to support their claim. This could be in the form of actual enrolment and attendance numbers.

      If the number of funded child hours provided on the EC20 is higher than the actual entitlement claimed on the RS7 Return, the service will receive a reduced wash-up in the next funding payment.

      If the number of funded child hours provided on the EC20 is lower than the actual entitlement claimed on the RS7 Return the service will receive the remainder of its full entitlement in the wash-up payment.

  • Advance days
    • If the effective date for the change occurs during any month in the advance period, services must count the number of advance days they will claim funding for before and after that date. This allows the Ministry to calculate the correct advance from the effective date.

      For more information on claiming advance funding see Section 9-5 Calculating Advance Days.

  • Warning: To avoid overpayment of funding
      • The Ministry retains the right to reduce any advance funding calculated from an EC20 where it deems the claimed numbers on the EC20 to be over-claimed.
      • Services are required to provide evidence to support the numbers claimed on the EC20 form. This could be in the form of actual enrolment and attendance numbers.
      • Any overpayments that occur due to over-claims on the EC20 form are recovered by the Ministry in the next available wash-up payment. If a service is not due to receive sufficient funding to cover the overpayment, the Ministry will invoice the service for the funding owed and payment is due immediately.
  • Tip
    • Red lightbulb tip symbol

      For services applying for a first advance of 20 Hours ECE:

      • Under Twos will remain unchanged
      • Count as Two and Over hours all hours you would claim for two year olds
      • and any three-year-old, four-year-old or five-year-olds that will not receive 20 Hours ECE at your service (for example children who are already receiving their 20 hours of 20 Hours ECE at another service)
      • 20 Hours ECE hours are the hours you would claim for three-year-olds, four-year-olds and five-year-olds. The signed attestation part of the enrolment agreement must be completed for each child
      • Plus 10 ECE hours are the hours you would claim for the three-year-olds, four-year-olds and five-year-olds who are claiming 20 Hours ECE and are permanently enrolled for more than 20 hours per week. Up to 10 further hours per week may be claimed in this category, depending on each child’s enrolment, bringing the maximum total to 30 hours per week.