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
3-C-2 Quality funding rates for parent/whānau-led services
This section explains:
- options for quality funding rates that are available for all parent/whānau-led services
- on duty requirements for parents/whānau at services receiving quality funding rates
- what to do when trained parents/whānau are absent
- what to do when trained parents/whānau leave the service
- record keeping requirements for parent/whānau-led services receiving quality funding rates.
Options for quality rates
Parent/whānau-led services that wish to become eligible for funding at the quality rates must meet the requirements of one of the quality rate options.
Playcentres and kōhanga reo have several different sets of requirements they may choose to meet. Some of these options are unique to either playcentres or kōhanga reo. These options are outlined in the specific section for that service type.
On duty requirements for parents/ whānau
All services receiving quality funding rates must have parents/whānau with the required training on duty at all times (see Section 3-C-3 for licensed playcentre requirements or Section 3-C-4 for kōhanga reo requirements).
On duty means working and involved with the children for all the hours that the service is open for children.
On duty does not mean just being on the premises or solely involved in administration.
Parent/ whānau records
Services receiving quality level funding must maintain a record of trained parents/whānau for all periods the service is open.
The record must include trained parents/whānau:
- names and
- qualifications and
- arrival and departure times and
- breaks when the parent/whānau member was not on duty.
Records must be kept for seven years.
Changes to qualified parents/ whānau
Services receiving quality funding rates must notify their Ministry regional office when trained parents/whānau change.
If changes to parents/whānau means... service management must... and... eligibility for quality funding rates is maintained complete an EC11/A Form and forward to your Ministry regional office funding will continue at the quality rate. eligibility for quality funding rates is not maintained complete an EC11 Form and return to your Ministry regional office funding will return to the standard rate.
Services are expected to maintain a list of trained relievers who are available when trained parents/whānau are absent.
The Ministry will fund up to five ‘discretionary situations’ at the quality funding rate, per funding period, when a trained reliever is not available if quality level adult:child ratios were still met and the record keeping requirements described in this section are kept.
Standard funding rates will apply from the date of the sixth absence. Services may apply to return to quality level funding at any time using the EC11 Form.
*We have increased the number of discretionary situations (sessions or days) currently available per funding period from five to 10.
This applies for the November 2021 and March 2022 funding periods (October 2021 to May 2022).
A discretionary situation may be either a session or a full-day of operation depending on the operating structure of the service.
If... Then ... trained relievers are available but your option cannot be maintained e.g. when the trained reliever holds a different qualification to the usual parent/whānau member
your service may meet the requirements for an alternative option for that day.
Service management must document the reason why the option could not be met and keep evidence to show that the alternative option was met.)
trained relievers are not available and this is the first, second, third, fourth or fifth day/session in the current funding period where trained relievers have not been available service management must:
- keep evidence of the reason for the qualified staff members absence and
- keep evidence of attempts to contact qualified relievers e.g. email records and
- keep evidence to show that quality level adult:child ratios were met.
trained relievers are not available and this is the sixth day/session in the current funding period where qualified relievers have not been available service management must immediately apply to return to standard level funding (EC11 Form) trained relievers are not available and there are not enough parents/whānau (trained or untrained) in attendance to meet the regulated adult:child ratio requirements service management must close the service until regulated adult:child ratio requirements can be met.
Record keeping requirements
Services receiving quality level funding must keep:
- staffing records as described in this section and
- copies of qualifications for trained parents/whānau and
- evidence of reasons for trained parents/whānau members’ absences, attempts to contact relievers, and that quality level adult:child ratios were maintained and
- copies of completed EC11, EC11/A application forms or a letter from the Ministry confirming the funding rate change (where necessary) as evidence that the service has not claimed quality level funding for more than five days/sessions of trained parents/whānau members’ absence.
Records must be available for inspection by authorised Education Review Office and Ministry of Education auditing staff.
Services that fail to provide the above records on request may be returned to standard funding rates.
Records must be kept for seven years.
More record keeping information
Use the following table if you would like further information about record keeping and financial reporting requirements:
If you would like... See Section An overview of the record keeping requirements for all services 11-1 Information on funding claim audits and record keeping audits 11-2 Information or instructions for financial reporting 12