Pay Parity Attestation

Information for centre-based early learning services about minimum salary levels for certificated teachers, how they relate to your eligibility for higher funding, and how to attest them.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Centre-based Early Learning Services
  • All Early Learning Services

To be eligible for higher levels of funding, you must adhere to minimum salary levels for all certificated teachers under your employment, and attest this on the RS7 funding return.

What is Pay Parity?

The Early Childhood Education Pay Parity Scheme is about closing the pay gap between certificated teachers working in education and care and hospital-based services with their teacher colleagues working in kindergartens.

To achieve this, higher funding rates are available to education and care and hospital-based services who pay all employed certificated teachers at least the salary amounts described in the ECE Funding Handbook.

The following resource has been developed to support teachers and service providers with implementing the Early Childhood Education Pay Parity Scheme.

Guide to Pay Parity [PDF, 1.9 MB]

Which teachers are covered?

Only certificated teachers working in an education and care and Hospital based services are covered.

To be considered a certificated teacher for funding purposes, the teacher must hold a current practising certificate issued by the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand. They must also have:

  1. a NZ early childhood or primary teaching qualification, or
  2. an overseas qualification assessed by NZQA as being comparable to a NZ early childhood or primary teaching qualification or
  3. an ECE or primary endorsement from the Teaching Council when obtaining your certification through the discretionary pathway.

Certificated teachers working in home-based services, Playcentres or whanau-led kōhanga reo are not covered. There are no opt-in rates for these types of early learning services.

How do you know how much a teacher should be paid?

What step a teacher enters the pay scale on depends on the combination of three factors:

  • their highest qualification (search for the level of qualifications on the NZQA website(external link)),
  • their service history, and
  • any previous relevant work experience.

Requirements for these three factors are set out in the Funding Handbook, Chapter 3-B-2(external link).

This template may be useful to document the process of determining a teacher’s initial pay step.

Link to Template – Salary Step Assessment. [PDF, 123 KB]

How do I opt-in to Pay Parity?

Education and care and hospital-based services will opt-in to pay parity using the Attestation of Certificated Teachers’ Salary section of the RS7 return.

Through this section of the RS7 return, a service will attest to which salary steps of the minimum salary scale they have paid their certificated teachers for the period of the RS7 return.

Services will submit their RS7 return three times per year; in February, June, and October. Providing the opportunity for services to update their pay parity opt-in status should their circumstances change.

Instructions on how to complete the attestation can be found in Chapter 9-6(external link) of the ECE Funding Handbook.

What is changing on 1 January 2023?

From this date, services that are opted-in to the parity rates will need to pay all employed certificated teachers based on the first 6 steps of the KTCA (only the first 5 steps are required from 1 January 2022).

Services can receive the extended parity funding rates if they pay all employed certificated teachers at least the Step 1 to 11 minimum salary amounts defined in Chapter 3-B-2(external link) of the ECE Funding Handbook, as well as pay management staff a minimum salary of $79,413.

Extended parity funding rates will be available to services as part of the November 2022 funding through the January and February 2023 advance funding.

The following factsheet contains additional information about the update to the Attestation of Certificated Teachers’ Salaries which will be used by services to opt-in to pay parity and receive the extended parity funding rates.

Attestation Factsheet [PDF, 216 KB]

Record keeping requirements

A services’ attestation results will be verified during an audit by the Ministry. We will be confirming that each employed certificated teacher was paid at least at the required salary level. Services must therefore maintain information to assist with verification.

This information will include:

  • copies of qualifications and current practising certificates already required to be held,
  • information to support how the teacher’s initial and current salary scale was determined, and
  • records to confirm salary or wage levels.

Specific requirements are outlined in Chapter 11 of the ECE Funding Handbook(external link).

Some questions and answers about pay parity

Does opting-in to the parity rates mean a service has to offer the full terms and conditions of the Kindergarten Teachers, Senior Teachers and Head Teachers Collective Agreement (KTCA)?

No. However, there are conditions required to be met in order to receive parity rates that draw on several of the KTCA’s terms and conditions. These only relate to the salary steps. These conditions are outlined in the Funding Handbook.

Services do not need to offer other provisions of the KTCA, such as a specified amount of leave or non-contact time, in order to be eligible for parity or extend parity rates.

What does the opt-in arrangement mean for services that are already party to a collective agreement?

Services are still free to offer additional terms and conditions, or be party to collective agreements, if they opt-in to the parity rates. The attestation opt-in requires payment of a minimum salary scale but does not require a service to offer all the terms and conditions of the KTCA.

If a service has more teachers than needed to meet regulated ratios, do all of them have to be paid at this level or only the ones that count towards the Staff Hour Count in the funding claim?

When a service opts-in to the parity funding rates, they are agreeing to pay all employed certificated teachers in accordance with the salary scales set out in the ECE Funding Handbook. The requirement is not limited only to certificated teachers counted for regulated ratio purposes.

The requirement covers all certificated teachers who are employed to work in a teaching or management role in the service. This means certificated teachers in a part-teaching or management role, such as a centre manager, must also be paid at least the attested salary level.


Are relievers covered?

Yes. The attestation requirement covers all employed certificated teachers, and could include permanent, fixed term or casual staff. Where the employment relationship is not directly between the service and teacher, for example if relievers are engaged through an agency, service providers should ensure there is an agreement in place that enables them to show they are, or have been, paid at the appropriate level.

Can a service claim the parity rates if it is still in the process of agreeing placement on the pay scales with teachers during the course of the funding period?

Yes, if you’re still working through contractual arrangements, you can attest as long as all employed certificated teachers are back paid to ensure they are paid in accordance with the salary scale from the beginning of the funding period, or their start date (if they have not been employed for the entire period).

Failure to back pay teachers to the start of the funding period will mean a service is ineligible to receive parity funding.

What period does the attestation cover?

The attestation relates to the washup months of the funding period. For example, in June 2022 the RS7 Return will contain an attestation for the period February-May 2022. Both washup and advance portion will be paid according to this attestation (either base, parity or extended parity funding rates).




October – January


February – May


June – September

How will I know if my service has opt-in to pay parity?

The Ministry regularly publishes a list of services that have attested to receive the parity rates for each period. This can be found on Education Counts under attestation of certificated teachers’ salaries.

ECE Staffing | Education Counts(external link).

Can I pay my certificated teachers more than the salary scale amount?

The amounts set out in the salary scale are minimums. Service providers and teachers are free to negotiate higher levels of remuneration if they wish.

How do I convert the minimum salary amount into an hourly rate?

An indicative hourly rate can be found by dividing the salary amount by 2080.

The salary amounts reflect a full-time year of work consisting of a 40-hour week for 52 weeks. For teachers that are contracted to generally work more or less than 40 hours a week, an hourly rate should be applied.

How can I change my opt-in response once I have submitted my RS7 return?

Services who wish to update their opt-in response can resubmit their RS7 return. Resubmissions can be made for the current funding period up until the following dates through service’s student management system.


Electronic RS7

Submission deadline


30 April


31 August


31 December

Any changes to a service’s funding will be processed for the next available payment date.

Services should contact if they wish to submit an RS7 return after the electronic submission deadline.

Where to go for help

For general queries on the pay parity scheme, contact

For further information or guidance about teacher registration and certification, you can contact the Teaching Council:

Website: Teaching Council(external link)

For teachers who require evidence of their registration date, you can email, You will need to confirm the following information in your email:

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • registration number

To search for your qualification on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework, go to the NZQA page.

Qualifications - Advanced Search - NZQA website(external link)

For information on employment matters, you can go to the Employment New Zealand website.

Employment New Zealand website(external link)






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