2019 ECE Return (Census) reminder

This year the annual early childhood education (ECE) Return week is from 24 to 30 June. All early learning services must submit their ECE Return by 12 July 2019 through the Student Management System (SMS) or Early Learning Information (ELI) Web.

The ECE Return is a mandatory requirement of the ELI Principles of Use, and your funding may be withheld if you do not submit a complete and accurate Return on time.

The information submitted in the annual ECE Return is important and contributes to a comprehensive information base on ECE in New Zealand. It is also used by the Ministry to monitor and forecast ECE expenditure and design new policies.

Before submitting your ECE Return:

  • Early learning services submitting an ECE Return via their SMS must ensure the latest version of software is being used – new functionality released for the 2019 ECE Return won’t be visible in previous versions. Please contact your SMS provider if you are unsure about which version you are using.
  • Ensure you have completed your ECE Return correctly. All children must be allocated a National Student Number (NSN) and all enrolment, attendance and staff details must be up to date. In particular, services need to ensure their staff qualification and certification information is up to date for each staff member.

There have been some changes with teachers’ qualifications, so please ensure you use valid qualifications codes in the 2019 ECE Return. See the news article on the ELI Homepage for more details.

New qualification codes in ELI - ELI Homepage

Casual and hospital-based services and playgroups need to complete and submit their Returns digitally. A copy of the digital 2019 ECE Return form is available for download from the Education Counts website. A link has also been emailed to the email address that we have on file at the Ministry.

Education Counts website

For any questions about this information please contact the Ministry at ece.statistics@education.govt.nz or phone 04 439 5390.