Early Learning Funding Update – June 2019

Funding reminders for the Early Learning Sector for June 2019 including an update to the minimum salaries for certificated teachers and a RS7 return update.

Update to the minimum salaries for certificated teachers

Teacher-led early learning services receive higher rates of funding if they attest to teachers being paid at or above certain minimum salary levels.

This applies to certificated teachers with Early Childhood Education (ECE) or primary qualifications. Minimum salary levels are paid based upon their level of qualification.

The salary levels are taken from the Early Childhood Education Collective Agreement of Aotearoa New Zealand (ECECA).  This agreement is negotiated between NZEI Te Riu Roa and a group of ECE employers.

From 1 August 2019, the required minimum salary levels for certificated teachers in teacher-led early learning services will increase.  The new salary levels have been published on the Education website.

Attestation of certificated teachers' salaries

Teacher-led early learning services must attest that they are paying their certificated teachers at, or above, these minimum rates on their RS7 return. The attestation process is explained in the ECE Funding Handbook.

9-6 Attestation of certificated teachers' salaries - ECE Funding Handbook

New ELI temporary closure code

A new code became available from June 2019 for ELI users filing RS7 returns. The new code is ‘SO’ – Service Open. This code should be used when a service is open during a holiday period but no children are in attendance.

The SO code can be used when a service is open during the holiday period, and parents have confirmed that their child(ren) are booked to attend. However, on the day, the teacher(s) are present but no children attend that day. If this situation occurs, services are entitled to funding for that day and should use the SO code.

‘Holiday’ refers to a day that an early learning service would not normally operate on but have agreed with parents to open, eg, on a statutory holiday or during the Christmas and New Year holiday period. This code cannot be used on a normal operating day.

A service can only claim funded child hours for the hours the staff are present for that day, ie, if the teacher starts at 9am and closes the service at 12pm (instead of 3pm), then the service can only claim funded child hours for the half day.

RS7 return update

Payment dates

On 1 July, the Ministry will pay the next instalment of ECE funding to licensed early learning services that have submitted their RS7 return by Monday 10 June. Please note that this information does not apply to playgroups.

Services that submit their RS7 return after 10 June, but before 10 July, will receive funding on Monday 22 July 2019.

Emails acknowledging receipt of the RS7 returns are sent out to services. If you do not receive an acknowledgement email within 3 working days of your submission, please check your Student Management System (SMS) or ELI reports and contact the Ministry.

Funding notices are posted to services on the payment date. The Ministry is unable to provide confirmation of amounts prior to this date.


Early learning services are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the data submitted. Resubmissions are available to correct genuine errors or oversights that come to light at a later date. Note that:

  • Resubmissions for the February to May 2019 period should be made electronically
  • Resubmissions for July 2018 to January 2019 should be submitted on paper RS7 forms.

Submissions that relate to earlier than June 2018 will not be processed. Resubmissions may be audited by the Ministry’s Monitoring Team to verify their accuracy.

Further information

For information about the funding rules, please refer to the ECE Funding Handbook published on our website. 

ECE Funding Handbook

Information about the electronic RS7 returns and ELI are available on the Early Learning Information Homepage.

Early Learning Information Homepage(external link)

For any questions, or if you need to discuss any funding issues, please contact Resourcing Support, Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm, freephone 0800 ECE ECE (323 323), or email: resourcing@education.govt.nz.

For any licensing or general operational matters, please contact your local Ministry office. Please also contact your local office if you require any updates to your service’s contact details.

Local Ministry office

ECE key funding dates for 2019 are published on our website link below.

ECE key funding dates for 2019

Playgroup funding and PG5 report

Playgroup operational funding available through ERS

A reminder to playgroups that the January to June 2019 playgroup operational funding round will be closing on 30 June 2019 and the July to December 2019 funding round will be opening from 1 July 2019.

Playgroups are able to apply for operational funding using the Education Resourcing System (ERS). You should ensure you have created a funding request for the January to June 2019 period before the funding round closes on 30 June. You cannot create a new request for this period after that date. Please also ensure that your playgroup authoriser has approved the request before submitting to the Ministry.

Playgroups are able to track the progress of your funding request and access your payment advice notices online in ERS.

PG5 Playgroup Funding Report

The PG5 report is used to show how the funding received from the Ministry has been spent. Playgroups that received Ministry funding for any part of the 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019 year must complete an annual Playgroup Funding Report in order to continue to be funded for the 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 period. 

The PG5 reports will be mailed to playgroups in the first week of July 2019. Completed reports should then be returned to your local Ministry Office.

From 1 July 2019, playgroups will be able to apply for their funding for the July to December 2019 period in ERS. Applications will not be approved for payment until the PG5 form has been received. Playgroups that have not yet had their access to ERS set up should contact their Education Advisor.

Supporting information for ERS (including FAQs, a training module and step-by-step guidance) is available on the ERS support website(external link).

Please ensure that we have the most up-to-date email contact details for your playgroup in our records by updating these in ERS, or contact your Education Advisor.

The ERS is supported by the Resourcing Team, phone 0800 323 323 or email: resourcing@education.govt.nz.

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