What is 20 Hours ECE?
20 Hours ECE is where the Government will fully fund the cost of early childhood education (ECE) for up to 6 hours per day, and up to 20 hours per week. ECE services cannot charge any fees for hours claimed as20 Hours ECE.
Why provide 20 Hours ECE?
The Government is funding 20 Hours ECE because it believes that giving young children the best possible start in life is vitally important, and that quality ECE builds the lifelong foundations of successful learning.
By reducing the cost to families, 20 Hours ECE encourages parents to enrol their children in ECE or to increase the time their children spend in ECE. 20 Hours ECE helps parents to have more choice about how their children can regularly participate in ECE while balancing their role as a parent with other needs (such as work and study).
Why is 20 Hours ECE up to 20 hours a week?
20 hours a week encourages increased participation in high quality ECE. Research shows that children are likely to benefit more from high quality ECE if their participation is regular and frequent.
Why is it up to six hours a day?
20 Hours ECE is available for up to six hours a day so that it matches how the Government already funds ECE services, which is also for up to six hours per day.
Who is eligible to get 20 Hours ECE?
All three, four and five year olds enrolled at an ECE service that offers 20 Hours ECE can get up to six hours per day, up to 20 hours per week of early childhood education where no fee can be charged for those hours. 20 Hours ECE starts when a child turns three and finishes when they are enrolled in, and attending, school.
When does eligibility to 20 Hours ECE end?
Children are legally required to be enrolled in school by their sixth birthday. The last day that can be claimed as 20 Hours ECE is, therefore, the day before a child’s sixth birthday.
Can children who are not New Zealand residents be enrolled in 20 Hours ECE?
Yes. Any three, four or five year old child in New Zealand can be enrolled in ECE and receive 20 Hours ECEeven if they are not a New Zealand resident or citizen.
Is 20 Hours ECE income tested?
No. 20 Hours ECE is available to any three, four or five year old who is enrolled in a teacher-led ECE service, kōhanga reo or Playcentre that offers 20 Hours ECE. This is regardless of income, ethnicity, work status, immigration status, family situation or any other factor.