The government subsidises early childhood education (ECE) and kōhanga reo for every child up to the age of 5 living in New Zealand.

Will I be charged fees?

Early learning services and kōhanga reo may also charge fees. Each has different fees, depending on things like:

  • whether the early learning service or kōhanga reo offers the 20 Hours ECE subsidy for 3, 4 and 5 year olds
  • the number of adults employed to care for and educate the children, and the qualifications held by these adults
  • the time your child will be there – part days or full days
  • the facilities and services offered, for example if the service provides meals, nappies and other supplies, or if you have to provide them
  • other government subsidies you might be able to get, such as the childcare subsidy through Work and Income.

20 Hours ECE

Childcare subsidy – Work and Income(external link)

Check with the early learning service or kōhanga reo to find out about their fees and enrolment conditions. You may wish to ask the following questions:

  • how do I make payments?
  • do I still have to pay if my child is sick or on holiday?
  • is there a charge for going on the waiting list?
  • is there a minimum enrolment time?

What about optional charges?

An early learning service or kōhanga reo can ask you to pay optional charges, and they can ask for a donation. It’s up to you whether you pay these.

Optional charges must be for the actual costs of providing extra items or services. 

What if I have questions about the fees?

First talk with your early learning service or kōhanga reo and ask them to explain their fees.

If you don't think your questions are being addressed, you can make a complaint to the early learning service or kōhanga reo. Ask to see their complaints policy for guidance on how to do this.

If you're not happy with how they respond to your complaint, you can contact your local Ministry of Education office for more help.

Local Ministry of Education offices(external link)

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