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What is home-based ECE?

What is home-based ECE and why are we doing the review?Home-based early childhood education (ECE) is provided by an educator to groups of up to four children aged from birth to five years in either an educator’s home or the child’s home. Each educator must belong to a licensed home-based service, which provides support through a coordinator who is a qualified and registered ECE teacher with a current practicing certificate. Educators are not required to hold qualifications.

Educators can include nannies, au pairs, grandparents and other relatives. Coordinators provide professional leadership and support to educators and oversee the children’s education and care. Coordinators must provide supervision at all times while children attend the service. They are responsible for overseeing the education and care of up to 50 children at a time. Coordinators can also be called visiting teachers.

Home-based ECE offers a number of benefits, including low adult to child ratios and small group sizes. It also allows parents to choose an educator who shares their first language and culture.

The Ministry of Education subsidises the cost of ECE by providing funding to licensed home-based ECE services. There are two different subsidy rates for home-based ECE services (a standard and a quality rate). The standard rate is the minimum funding rate home-based services can receive. These services must meet the requirements of the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008[1]. The quality rate is a higher funding rate available to services that meet additional requirements to those set out in the Regulations.

Home-based services’ funding also depends on whether the children are under or over two, and if the service offers 20 Hours ECE for three-, four- and five-year-olds. Home-based services can claim up to 30 hours of subsidy funding per child, per week.

Current funding rates for home-based ECE services (GST inclusive)

Rates from 1 July 2014
$ per funded child hour   Under 2  2 and over 20 Hours ECE
Quality rate  $8.31  $4.45  $9.27
Standard rate    $7.28 $3.94 $8.76

In 2017 approximately $156 million was spent on home-based ECE and 18,440 children attended a home-based ECE service.


[1] http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2008/0204/latest/DLM1412501.html