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

3-B Teacher-led services

H symbol.  E symbol.  K symbol.  Compass.  Books



Teacher-led services mean services that require the person responsible to be a qualified, certificated teacher.

Types of teacher-led services include:

  • education and care services
  • kindergartens
  • hospital-based
  • home-based education and care services.

In hospital-based and home-based services, the person responsible must hold an ECE teaching qualification. In early childhood education and care services and kindergartens, the person responsible may be primary or ECE qualified.

Teacher-led services exclude parent-led services. For definitions of these service types, please see the Glossary of this Handbook.

Funding variables

Funding for each teacher-led service depends on:

  • the service type (education and care service, kindergarten, hospital-based or home-based)
  • whether a service is all-day or sessional
  • the proportion of regulated (ratio) staff hours that are covered by certificated teachers (see Section 3-B-2 for further information)
  • whether the service attests to paying their certificated teachers at or above certain minimum salary steps, not applicable for kindergartens or home-based services (see Section 3-B-2 for further information)
  • the age of children attending the service
  • whether the service is offering 20 Hours ECE.

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