ECE Funding Handbook

Welcome to the Early Childhood Funding Handbook. This Funding Handbook is issued under section 548(5) of the Education and Training Act 2020(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’ for all you need to know about early childhood funding, including:

  • the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Funding Subsidy
  • 20 Hours Early Childhood Education (ECE)
  • Equity Funding
  • the Annual Top-Up for Isolated Services

Note: The information in the Funding Handbook does not apply to certificated playgroups. These services should contact their Ministry regional office for further information.

Downloading the ECE Funding Handbook

If you want a printed 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

Chapter 3: The ECE Funding Subsidy

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The ECE Funding Subsidy is the primary form of government funding for licensed early childhood education (ECE) services.

Licensed ECE services receiving the ECE Funding Subsidy must meet certain eligibility and funding conditions.

Failure to meet these funding conditions may result in the funding being withheld either in full or in part.

Service type specific funding

The ECE Funding Subsidy rates are determined by service type because the costs and requirements faced by different service types vary.

For the purposes of the ECE Funding Subsidy, licensed ECE services are grouped into two types:

  • Teacher-led services (including home-based, education and care, and hospital-based services).
  • Parent/whānau-led services.

Within each group there are separate rates for children aged under two, and children aged two and over.

Higher funding rates

Each section of this chapter includes information on how specific service types can become eligible for higher funding rates.

GST inclusive

The ECE Funding Subsidy is GST inclusive.

In this chapter

This chapter contains the following topics: