Principles of Use

ELI information is used by the Ministry of Education for educational research, statistics, monitoring, reporting to Government and the public, and resourcing.  To ensure the information is complete and accurate, licensed early services, unless specifically exempt, need to return the following information through the Early Learning Information (ELI) System:

1. Children’s National Student Numbers (NSNs)

Each child who enrols in ECE requires a National Student Number (NSN).  The NSN stays with the child throughout their primary, secondary and tertiary education.  To support the allocation of unique NSNs, services must sight a copy of each child’s official identification document.  The Ministry recommends that ECE services keep a copy of each child’s birth certificate or other official identification document when they enrol.

2. Up-to-date child enrolment and attendance information

Enrolment and attendance information should be updated and confirmed at least monthly.  ECE services need to confirm the completeness and accuracy of their child participation information through ELI at least once a month.  The previous month’s information needs to be confirmed by the end of the following month.  This is done using the confirmation function within ELI Web or a Student Management System (SMS).

3. The ECE Return

The ECE Return is an electronic collection of information from ECE services that focuses on service activity at specified times, as advised by the Ministry.   The ECE Return replaces the paper-based RS61 form for services that are connected to ELI.

4. The electronic RS7 Return

The electronic RS7 Return is the main funding claim for early learning services.  The electronic RS7 Return replaces the paper-based RS7 Return for services that are connected to ELI.

New early learning services should begin sending ELI information to the Ministry within 8 weeks of their licence being issued.  Connecting to ELI and sending the required information can be done through ELI Web or an SMS.  The Ministry may consider withholding funding if a new service does not begin sending ELI information within the 8 weeks.  

Early learning services connected to ELI need to act on Ministry requests to make changes to their ELI information to ensure its completeness and accuracy.  The Ministry may consider withholding funding if a service does not make changes to their ELI information within 8 weeks of the initial request.

These information requirements are included in Chapter 2 and Chapter 6 of the Early Childhood Education Funding Handbook.

Note: Early learning services that are exempt from ELI need to continue returning the information required by the Ministry via paper-based substitutes, including the RS61 and RS7 forms.

For information about how to connect to ELI, refer to the ELI Information Pack for New ECE Services on the Resources page.