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Frequently asked questions about the five-year transition to a fully-qualified home-based workforce.

What changes are being made?

  • The standard funding rate is being removed. From 1 January 2025 there will be one quality rate for home-based ECE services.  To be eligible for the new quality rate, all home-based services would be required to have at least 80% of their educator workforce with a required qualification.
  • Educators must hold a required qualification. Required qualification means a grand-parented Level 3 ECE qualification, a completed Level 4 or higher ECE qualification, a primary teaching qualification, Te Ara Tuarua or higher.
  • The qualification requirements will gradually increase. From 1 January 2022, 10% of educators in standard-funded licences will need to hold a required qualification.  This will be gradually increased until it reaches 80% by January 2025.
  • The acceptance of part-qualifications for quality funding purposes will be phased out. From January 2021, 30% of educators in a quality-funded licence must hold a required qualification.
  • Educators will be able to join a quality-funded licence without any ECE credits. From 1 January 2021, 20% of educators in a quality-funded licence can be working towards a qualification.

Why are these changes being made?

  • The Ministry of Education began a review of home-based ECE in 2018 to better support quality education outcomes for children and to assure parents with children in home-based ECE that their children are receiving quality education and care.
  • Based on the review and consultation with the sector, the Government decided to move towards all educators holding at least a Level 4 ECE qualification, Te Ara Tuarua (the level 5 kōhanga reo qualification), or a primary teaching qualification.
  • Evidence suggests that qualifications are linked to quality interactions and better educational outcomes for children. For this reason, the Government decided to transition to a qualified home-based educator workforce.
  • The phased changes to the qualification requirements are designed to support the transition to a qualified workforce in home-based ECE which will ensure quality early learning in the home-based sector.

What are the timeframes for implementation?

Requirements for the standard rate for home-based services

Date requirement would be effective

Percentage of educators with a required qualification*

1 January 2022

10%

1 January 2023

30%

1 January 2024

60%

1 January 2025

Full implementation

80%

* A required qualification is a grand-parented Level 3 ECE qualification, a Level 4 or higher ECE qualification, a primary teacher qualification, Te Ara Tuarua or higher.

Requirements for the quality rate

Date requirement would be effective

Minimum percentage of educators with a required qualification*

Percentage of educators with at least 5 credits towards a required qualification*

Maximum percentage of educators able to be in training or induction^

1 January 2021

30%

50%

20%

1 January 2022

50%

30%

20%

1 January 2023

70%

10%

20%

1 January 2024

80%

0%

20%

* A required qualification is a grand-parented Level 3 ECE qualification, a Level 4 or higher ECE qualification, a primary teacher qualification, Te Ara Tuarua or higher.

^ Educators who do not yet have credits towards a required qualification

How will this affect educators?

  • There will be no expected changes for home-based educators with a grand-parented Level 3 ECE qualification, a Level 4 or higher ECE qualification, a primary teacher qualification, Te Ara Tuarua (the level 5 kōhanga reo qualification) or higher.
  • Home-based educators who do not currently hold a required qualification will need to have completed, or be working towards, a Level 4 ECE qualification or Te Ara Tuarua by the end of 2024.
  • Home-based educators in a quality-funded licence who currently have partial credits towards a required qualification will need to complete the qualification by 1 January 2024.
  • Educators entering the home-based workforce from 1 January 2025 will have up to six months for induction before they must be enrolled in the Level 4 ECE qualification or Te Ara Tuarua, and would have two years to complete the qualification.
  • Home-based educators who need to complete the required qualifications will receive support from their visiting teacher during this process.

What counts as being ‘qualified’?

  • The following count as being ‘qualified’:
    • A ‘grand-parented’ Level 3 ECE qualification
    • A Level 4 or higher ECE qualification
    • A primary teaching qualification
    • Te Ara Tuarua (the level 5 kōhanga reo qualification) or higher (Tohu Whakapakari)
  • By 2024, educators with partial credits towards a required qualification will not count towards the quality rate – educators will need a completed qualification or be in training or induction.

What does a grand-parented Level 3 ECE qualification mean?

  • If you obtain, or have obtained, a Level 3 ECE qualification before 1 January 2022, you will count as qualified in the home-based sector.

What funding is available to support the transition to a qualified home-based workforce?

  • $36.2 million of additional funding was secured in Budget 2020 to support the transition to a more qualified educator workforce, including:
    • A 3.8% increase in quality rate for home-based services from January 2021. This is in addition to the 1.6% cost adjustment from 1 January 2021 for services on the quality rate
    • Visiting teacher support payments for services on the standard rate with educators completing the Level 4 qualification
    • Fees assistance for up to 2,646 students who are not eligible for fees free.

What happens if I am an unqualified home-based educator who is unwilling or unable to complete a required qualification?

  • As the prescribed percentage of qualified educators on a licence increases, service providers may no longer wish to contract educators who do not hold a required qualification. Unqualified educators will still be able to offer home-based care to families through private arrangements but would not be eligible for government funding.

How will these changes be implemented?

  • The qualification requirements for the standard rate will require changes to the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008. The regulations will be in place by 1 January 2022 when the Ministry starts to lift the requirements for the standard rate.
  • The Funding Handbook will be updated to reflect the changes to the quality funding rate.
  • Further information about when and how we will assess compliance with the new qualification requirements will be communicated at a later date.

Visiting Teacher support payment

What is the visiting teacher support payment?

  • Visiting Teacher Support is an initiative designed to support the transition to a qualified home-based educator workforce. 
  • Budget 2020 approved $1.496 million each year for four years, or until 1 July 2024.

How much additional funding will my service receive?

  • The maximum annual funding available is $5092 per licence. This will be paid out three times each year, in line with the regular bulk funding payments.

Who can access the visiting teacher support payments?

  • The visiting teacher support payments will be available for services on the standard rate with educators completing the Level 4 qualification.
  • Services already on the quality rate are not eligible for this funding. This is because the support is intended to help services move to the quality rate before the standard rate is removed from 1 January 2025.
  • The visiting teacher payment will be available from July 2020. Payments will be made at the end of a funding period, meaning the first payment will be in November 2020. 

How do we access the visiting teacher support payment?

  • Services will need to attest that they have educators currently studying towards a required qualification. More information about attestation for the Visiting Teacher Support Payment will be available soon.

Will I get more funding from the visiting teacher support payment if I have more than one educator in training? Is the funding per visiting teacher?

  • The funding is provided at a flat amount per licence, not per educator in training. As such, the amount does not vary depending on how many educators are in training.
  • Funding is not per visiting teacher, it is per licence.

I have educators working across multiple licences, will I get the visiting teacher support payment for each licence?

  • Educators can only be counted for the visiting teacher support payment for one licence. If you have different educators studying in each of your licences, then you can receive the payment for all licences.

Fees assistance

Who is eligible for fees assistance? How do I access fees assistance?

  • The Ministry is currently working through the details of the fees assistance package. We expect to make announcements on eligibility for this assistance late 2020.
  • Fees assistance will be available from January 2021.
  • The fees assistance package for home-based educators is different from fees free, an existing Government policy. Under the existing fees free policy, educators may be eligible for one year of tertiary study or two years' training up to the value of $12,000 fees-free if they are:
    • A New Zealander or ordinarily resident in New Zealand; and
    • A recent secondary school leaver; or
    • Not a recent secondary school leaver but have undertaken less than half a year of tertiary.