Special bulletin – 13 December


Increase to extended parity funding rates for licensed education and care services


Thirty-four percent of eligible education and care services have opted in to the extended parity funding rates to date.The Minister of Education has indicated that he wishes to increase this proportion while maximising use of the new funding the Government approved for pay parity in the last Budget, using his statutory power to amend the rates announced in May.To do this, the extended parity funding rates are being increased to 4.5% higher than the current rates.Our best estimate is that this will increase the opt in to 40%, which could open up higher pay to approximately 1000 further teachers.The new funding rates will be available from 1 January 2023.

Services that have already opted in will automatically have the original rates replaced by the new rates for their January and February advances. Services that have not opted in yet can do so up until 31 December in order to receive a February payment for the new rates (applied from 1 January 2023). Services that opt in during January and February will receive wash-up funding in March 2023 paid using the new rates (applied from 1 January 2023). The new extended parity funding rates are published in Appendix 1 of the ECE Funding Handbook:


ECE Funding Handbook: Appendix 1 – Ministry of Education For information on funding requirements for extended parity rates, see Chapter 3-B-2 of the ECE Funding Handbook: ECE Funding Handbook: Chapter 3-B-2 – Ministry of Education A guide outlining the process for services to access the increased funding is available here:Funding changes – Ministry of EducationThe opt in status of each service at the November 2022 funding payment is on the Education Counts website:ECE Staffing – Education Counts



Removal of temporary funding settings for COVID-19

Temporary funding settings, used to support early learning services and limit the funding impact of COVID-19, are largely returning to pre-COVID settings. Increase to discretionary hours Discretionary hours will permanently increase to 80 hours per funding round for teacher-led centre-based services. A discretionary hour is an hour that a service can count an unqualified teacher (other teacher) as a qualified teacher (certificated and qualified) for ECE funding purposes on the staff hour count. Services will need to report on any discretionary hours used during the funding period. For more details on the requirements for discretionary hours please see Chapter 3-B-2 of the ECE Funding Handbook. 3-B-2: Teacher-led education and care services – Ministry of Education Emergency closures Licensed early childhood services will no longer be able to receive emergency closure funding if they are required to close due to staff being unwell with COVID-19 after 31 December. Absence exemptions A parent or guardian will no longer be able to complete the EC13 form in place of a medical practitioner if their child is unwell with COVID-19 after 31 December. Absence funding Under the normal absence rules, funding support for when a child is away includes:

  • the three-week rule provides funding for three weeks of continuous absence regardless of reason
  • the frequent absence rule allows for three months of irregular attendance before an enrolment agreement needs to be changed.

These absence rules do allow funding to be claimed if a child is isolating after testing positive for COVID-19 within the limits described above. Discretionary situations The number of discretionary situations available to Playcentres, quality-funded home-based services and quality-funded Ngā Kōhanga Reo will return to five per funding period from 1 February 2023. Funding band protections

  • Teacher-led centre-based services: Funding bands for teacher-led centre-based services will be calculated as normal for the March 2023 funding round. Wash-up and advance funding bands will be calculated using a service’s October 2022 to January 2023 staff hour count.
  • Quality funded services: No funding band protections will apply to quality funded home-based services, Ngā Kōhanga Reo and playcentres during the March 2023 funding round.

Notional Roll Funding for certified playgroups Normal funding rules for certified playgroups will return for the 1 January 2023 to 30 June 2023 funding period. Information about the temporary funding settings that have been applied can be found on our Te Mahau website: Funding settings – Te Mahau