ECE Funding Handbook

Welcome to the Early Childhood Funding Handbook. This Funding Handbook is issued under section 311(5) of the Education Act 1989. 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

Licensing Criteria Cover

3-B-1 The link between teacher certification and funding

E symbol.  K symbol.  Books

  • Introduction
    • There are teacher certification requirements for teacher-led, education and care services.

  • Certificated teachers
    • For funding purposes, ‘certificated teachers’ must have

      • A NZ ECE or primary teaching qualification and a current practising certificate, or
      • An overseas qualification assessed by NZQA as comparable to a NZ ECE or primary teaching qualification and a current practising certificate, or
      • A letter from the Teaching Council with a clear ECE or primary “endorsement” (where registration has been gained through the Council's discretionary pathway), and a current practising certificate.

      Read more about discretionary pathway registration on our website.

  • Funding and teacher certification lapses
    • Where a teacher’s certification lapses, they may continue to be counted as certificated on the Staff Hour Count from the date they submitted their application for certification renewal to the Teaching Council. This period must not exceed three months. Services accessing this provision must keep a copy of the completed application, which must be signed and dated by the centre supervisor or manager. Any teacher applying for certification renewal must provide their employer service with a copy of the completed application.

      If, after three months, certification renewal has not been approved the teacher must be counted as ‘other’ on the Staff Hour Count. Should certification renewal be declined, the Ministry will recover any associated funding.

  • Overseas qualifications
    • The New Zealand Qualifications Authority must assess any overseas qualifications as comparable to a NZ ECE or primary teaching qualification, before it can be recognised for funding purposes. The teacher must also be registered and certificated with the Teaching Council.

      Contact the NZQA Qualification Evaluation Service on (04) 802 3000 or refer to the NZQA website for further details.