he pānui kōhungahunga

He Pānui Kōhungahunga
Issue 103

28 March 2024
he pānui kōhungahunga

He Pānui Kōhungahunga

Issue 103
28 March 2024

Kia ora koutou,

I hope you all have a chance to unwind over the Easter break.

As usual, take care during this time, especially on our roads if you are travelling.

Ngā mihi nui


FamilyBoost tax credit

The Minister of Finance has announced a FamilyBoost childcare tax credit, which gives eligible families a rebate of up to $75 per week on their ECE fees. You can read more details on the Beehive website, including a document covering frequently asked questions:

Families to receive up to $75 a week help with ECE fees – Beehive 

FamilyBoost – Questions and Answers [PDF, 149KB]

The pre-Budget announcement of this policy is to enable IRD to consult with the ECE sector on the practicalities of implementation. We will be supporting this engagement and will share more details when they are available.

Changes to ECE Funding Handbook: Home-based services and reversing 20 Hours ECE to two-year-olds

On 20 December 2023, Cabinet agreed to reverse the extension of 20 Hours ECE to two-year-olds, which was due to take effect from 1 March.

At the same time, Minister Stanford retained the funding condition that home-based educators can charge parents top-up payments for 20 Hours ECE. This change in funding conditions applies to home-based ECE services only and not to other ECE providers. It addresses an existing problem with 20 Hours ECE and allows home-based educators to maintain their income while still reducing costs to families.

We now have an advance copy of chapters 4, 6 and 11, glossary and the enrolment agreement form (within Appendix 2: Resources and Examples) of the ECE Funding Handbook available on our website, showing the home-based educator top-up payments:

20 Hours ECE for ECE services – Ministry of Education

Minor changes to chapters 6 and 11, and the enrolment form were made to align the enrolment records and record-keeping requirements for the home-based educator top-up payments.

The changes cannot be formally published into the ECE Funding Handbook until they come into effect. The implementation date for this funding condition is intended for early June 2024, and we will update you through this bulletin once this is formalised.

Any queries, contact ece.20hoursece@education.govt.nz

Financial reporting due 30 June

Licensed early learning services that have operated for a full financial year and received income of over $80,000 (including GST) from us during the financial year ending 2023 need to submit audited financial statements, an independent auditor’s report and a completed declaration form to: resourcing@education.govt.nz by 30 June.

Declaration form for early childhood education financial reporting for the financial year ending 2023 [PDF, 1.01 MB]

A reminder of the financial reporting requirements is outlined here:   

Financial reporting requirements [DOCX, 63 KB]

If you are a new service/owner that has not completed a full financial year of operation or you have received income of less than $80,000 (including GST) from us during the financial year ending 2023, you are required to complete a declaration form to confirm your exemption to the financial reporting requirements.

Safety checking of children’s workers who have been living overseas

Safety checking is the main mechanism for limiting risk of people working with children in early learning services when they shouldn’t be. Service providers must ensure that staff who are considered children’s workers are safety checked as per the requirements in the Children’s (Requirements for Safety Checks of Children’s Workers) Regulations 2015 and GMA7A/6A. 

Children’s (Requirements for Safety Checks of Children’s Workers) Regulations 2015 – New Zealand Legislation 

Definitions in Children’s Act 2014 [PDF, 59KB]

The Children’s Act 2014 includes a workforce restriction making it unlawful for early learning services to employ a core children’s worker who has an offence specified in the Act unless the person has obtained an exemption from the core worker exemption scheme managed by Te Kāhui Kāhu.

Children’s Act 2014: Workforce restriction – New Zealand Legislation

Children’s Act 2014: Specified offences – New Zealand Legislation

Core worker exemptions – Te Kāhui Kāhu

The workforce restriction only applies to New Zealand crimes. It’s particularly important to gather information regarding prospective staff who have been living overseas, so that an effective risk assessment can be completed.

The Teaching Council’s registration processes include an overseas police clearance for teachers who have been living overseas. For other children’s workers who are not registered teachers, best practice is to ask candidates if they’ve lived or worked overseas for 12 months or longer, and to require vets for every country they’ve lived in for more than 12 months. 

Our guidance has steps you can take to support robust decision-making as part of your risk assessment. This includes advice on conducting overseas checks. See page 30 in this document:

Guidance on implementing the Children’s Act – Ministry of Education

More information is available on our website:

Safety checking – Ministry of Education 

If you have any questions about safety checking or Police vetting requirements and processes, you can contact Eceregulations.Planning@education.govt.nz.