he pānui kōhungahunga

He Pānui Kōhungahunga
Issue 89

31 August 2023
he pānui kōhungahunga

He Pānui Kōhungahunga

Issue 89
31 August 2023

Mālō e lelei!


Tonga Language Week / Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga is 3 to 9 September. This year’s theme is 'E tu'uloa 'a e Lea faka-Tongá 'o ka lea'aki 'i 'api, siasí (lotú), mo e nofo-'a-kāingá’, which means the Tongan language will be sustainable if used at home, church and in the wider community. 


A list of resources and events can be found here:


Tonga Language Week 2023 – Ministry for Pacific Peoples


The Government has announced a pay parity increase for education and care service teachers from 1 December 2023 and changes to 20 Hours ECE funding conditions for home-based ECE services – you can read more about these below.


Malo ‘Aupito



Pay parity increase for education and care service teachers

The Government announced today that the salary scales and associated funding rates for education and care services will increase from 1 December 2023.


The new funding rates and salary scales are being published in the ECE funding handbook by 12pm, Friday, 1 September on our website:


ECE Funding Handbook – Ministry of Education


The full parity funding rate matches the kindergarten funding rate from 1 December 2023, and the associated salary scale matches the kindergarten salary scale effective from 1 December 2023.


Base, parity, and extended parity have also been updated to reflect new salary scales from 1 December 2023. These new funding rates will be reflected in advance funding paid in the November funding payment.   


This builds on the Budget 2023 pay parity initiative, which introduced a third set of opt-in funding rates from 1 November.


The Government also announced a review of ECE funding in the next term of government. This is a long term, multi-year, funding review. Work on determining the shape and scope of the review will be done alongside the early learning sector and will begin in the next term of government.

Changes to 20 Hours ECE funding conditions for home-based ECE services

The Budget 2023 initiative extending 20 Hours ECE to two-year-olds from 1 March 2024 intends to ease cost of living pressures on parents by reducing the cost of ECE.


To support home-based educators, a new category of allowable payments for 20 Hours ECE will be added for home-based services on 1 March 2024. This will enable home-based educators to seek payments from parents to ‘top up’ the pass-through of 20 Hours ECE subsidy from their home-based ECE service. This enables educators to maintain their income, while parents would see a reduction in fees for the hours of 20 Hours ECE.


Key details:

  • This payment must be no more than the difference between the service pass-through and the educator’s usual hourly fee. 
  • To ensure transparency for parents, home-based providers will be required from 1 March 2024 to publish their 20 Hours ECE pass-through to educators.
  • Parents who are eligible for the Childcare Subsidy, Guaranteed Childcare Assistance Payment, and the Early Learning Payment will be able to access these for the new category of allowable payments from 1 March 2024. Parents will need to apply for this assistance through Work and Income.
  • This change in funding conditions is for home-based ECE services only and does not apply to other ECE providers.
  • The funding conditions will be finalised and published in October 2023.

Amendments to the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

The Government has approved amendments to the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008, which support the network approval provisions.


The amendments came into effect on 28 August and are published here:

Education (Early Childhood Services) Amendment Regulations 2023 – New Zealand Legislation

Supporting the new network approval regulations

These changes:

  • enable the licence for an existing service to be amended, without requiring an application for network approval, where the service has to permanently relocate because its land has been acquired by the Crown
  • clarify that the Secretary for Education must consider relevant network approval provisions when considering an application to amend an existing licence.

The second amendment does not require service providers to apply for network approval when they seek an amendment to an existing licence. In addition, the Secretary will not be able to cancel an existing licence based on the network approval provisions.


A summary of feedback on the proposals during public consultation is on Kōrero Mātauranga:


Early Learning Regulatory Review – Kōrero Mātauranga

Strengthening the person responsible role

Changes to strengthen the role of persons responsible in licenced teacher-led early childhood education and care centres, licenced hospital-based education and care services, and licenced home-based education and care services can be found here:


Education (Early Childhood Services) Amendment Regulations (No 2) 2023 – New Zealand Legislation


The changes will come into effect in February 2024, with the requirement that persons responsible in teacher-led early childhood education and care centres, and licenced hospital- and home-based education and care services hold a Full (Category One or Two) practising certificate coming into effect in August 2024. The phased approach to implementation is designed to give service providers time to prepare for and meet these requirements. The summary of the feedback received during public consultation in September/October 2021 is on Kōrero Mātauranga:


Additional tranche two proposals – Kōrero Mātauranga


Earlier this year we also consulted on a proposal to define ‘locally based’ for persons responsible in licenced home-based education and care services. Given the wider challenges home-based services are currently reporting, the Government has decided not to progress this change for the time being and may revisit this proposal at a more suitable time for the sector.

Strengthening licensing and enforcement provisions

These changes:

  • allow for the Secretary for Education, at their discretion, to add new conditions to a service provider’s provisional licence
  • define ‘permanently ceased to operate’ for the purposes of cancelling a service licence
  • allow for the Secretary for Education, at their discretion, to grant temporary service closures, upon application by the service provider. 

The changes are published here and take effect from 26 February 2024.


Education (Early Childhood Services) Amendment Regulations (No 2) 2023 – New Zealand Legislation

More information

Earlier this year, the Government decided to slow down implementation of regulating for 80 percent qualified and certificated teachers until the next term of government due to sector feedback about the pace and scale of change underway. The Government remains committed to this and to progressing it in a way that is manageable for the sector.


If you have questions about this or any of the changes to the regulations, email earlylearning.regulatoryreview@education.govt.nz.

2023 annual ECE Census update

Thank you to the services who have already completed their ECE Census for the week of 19 to 25 June (the month of June for playgroups). If you have not yet submitted your ECE census, please submit this immediately (the due date was 13 July).


Technical issues affecting some services have now been resolved. You can submit your ECE Census again and contact us if you require support at ece.statistics@education.govt.nz.


Playgroups, casual and hospital-based services that are not connected to ELI have been emailed a link to complete their census via an online survey. If you have not received this link, contact us at ece.statistics@education.govt.nz.


We will continue to contact services who have data quality issues with their submission. If you receive an email from us, please complete the steps as soon as possible. Also ensure your June attendance data has been confirmed.


Your ECE Census information is important to us. We use this information to monitor and forecast ECE expenditure and design new policies.


If you have any questions, contact us at ece.statistics@education.govt.nz, or read more about the census on our website:


ECE census – Ministry of Education

Highest Needs Review

A paper went to Cabinet in July with an update on our response to the Highest Needs Review, a new system being designed to better support children and young people with the highest learning support needs.


We have released the paper here:

Progress update on the Highest Needs Change Programme [PDF, 1, 151 KB]


Cabinet agreed that the Ministry partner with Māori and work with disabled people and their communities, the early learning and school sectors, and Pacific communities to establish relationships, build trust, and engage on development and design options for a new system of supports.

We are currently looking at how we best partner and engage with the communities and sectors we serve around how we will work together to design and deliver the new system. This includes delivering impactful change in the short and medium term while the longer-term system transformation is being designed. Further information is available on our website:


Highest support needs change programme – Ministry of Education


2023 Targeted Funding for Disadvantage

The objective of Targeted Funding for Disadvantage is to improve educational equity by improving the affordability of early learning for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.


Targeted funding for March 2024 to February 2025 will be calculated based on the attendance data you have provided to the Early Learning Information (ELI) system for the period 1 April to 30 June 2023.


To ensure that services receive the correct entitlement for Targeted Funding, it is important you provide your most current and up-to-date ELI data by 8 September.


You must ensure that the names of the children attending your service have been entered correctly into ELI. These names should match those on official identification documentation, such as the child’s birth certificate or passport, if provided.


For further information about Targeted Funding, refer to the ECE Funding Handbook:

Chapter 13: Targeted Funding for Disadvantage – Ministry of Education 


Education and Training Amendment Act

Parliament has passed the Education and Training Amendment Act 2023 (the Act). The Act implements several important changes to the law that affect early childhood education.


Last year, through the Education and Training Amendment Act 2022, the law was changed to ensure that licenced early childhood services must obtain Police vets for all non-teaching and unregistered employees (who are not children’s workers) before they begin work and, for contractors, before they are likely to have unsupervised access to children.


The Act requires licenced early childhood services to consider the Police vet and assess any risk to the safety of children before employees begin work and before contractors have unsupervised access to children. This also applies to adults living in homes where home-based ECE is provided. Services will need to consider our guidelines when undertaking the risk assessments:


Risk assessments for Police vets under the Education and Training Act 2020 – Ministry of Education


The Act also permits us to disclose ECE service-level data held by Statistics New Zealand to develop the Equity Index for the ECE sector to better allocate equity funding to services.


You can read the Act here:


Education and Training Act 2023 – New Zealand Government

Outdated information about urgent police vetting service removed

Between December 2017 and June 2019, we had a one-off agreement with NZ Police to allow for expedited police vets for early learning services and schools. This service was only available for a small number of genuinely urgent circumstances.


As this agreement ceased in 2019, we have removed outdated information about the availability of this service from our website. The NZ Police vetting service is continuing to process the majority of requests within the standard 20 working days.


We encourage you to continue planning ahead and be mindful of timeframes when submitting your police vetting requests. If you need to discuss a particular vetting request, you can contact the NZ Police vetting service:


NZ Police Vetting Service – New Zealand Police

Awards for gifted learners

Applications are open for the awards for gifted learners. Gifted learners in early learning up to school leaving age can apply and could receive up to $2,500 per student or up to $5,000 for a group of students. Applications close on 9 October.


Awards for gifted learners – Ministry of Education

Gifted study award

The gifted study award is also available to support teachers | kaiako undertaking the Massey University Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching (Gifted Education). Applications close on 12 September.


Gifted study award – Ministry of Education


For queries about these awards, email gifted.enquiries@education.govt.nz.

Professional development: Nurturing healthy minds

Life Education Trust has launched a new online professional development workshop in our Nurturing healthy minds series, focused on supporting neurodiverse children.


Workshops run online 3.30pm to 5pm and are currently available on 13 September and 14 November.


Other dates and times may be available on request for large group bookings - contact webinar@lifeeducation.org.nz.


Further details and registration details are here:


Nurturing healthy minds – Life Education Trust

Early Reading Together®: Applications for 2023/24

Applications for funding for the Early Reading Together® programme are now open.

You can read more about it here:


Early Reading Together®: Applications now open – Early Learning Bulletin


Email reading.together@education.govt.nz to find out more and apply.