Funding (The RS7 Return)

Child in ECE

Common Terms
ECE Early Childhood Education
NSN National Student Number
SMS Student Management System
Ministry Ministry of Education

How do I claim funding for my service via ELI Web?

If your service uses ELI Web, you will still need to perform manual funding calculations; however, you can now enter your information online and submit the claim electronically, rather than posting the hand-written forms. 

The child participation information you enter into ELI Web is not used for funding purposes at this point in time.  However, you can download and print Attendance Reports and 20 Hours ECE Reports for the months of the funding period from ELI Reports to help with your calculations.

Only staff who have the RS7 Return Submitter role will be able to submit a funding claim to the Ministry. 

How do I claim funding for my service via my SMS?

If your service uses an SMS, you will electronically submit your funding claim to the Ministry through your SMS. 

For services using some SMSs, only staff who have the RS7 Return Submitter role will be able to submit a funding claim to the Ministry.  The Connect to ELI Questions & Answers page has more information on how to apply for this role.

Who should submit the RS7 Return for my service?

The Service Provider Contact for each service should decide who submits the RS7 Return.  The contact name recorded in the Declaration will be responsible for the funding data sent to the Ministry.  

What are the funding periods and due dates for the RS7 Return?

The funding periods are the same for all early learning services whether paper-based or electronic RS7 funding claims are submitted.

The three funding periods are: 

February – May

Submission: Due between 1 June and the fifth working day in June each year (can be submitted later, but will incur late payment)

Payment: 1 July (overnight on the first working day of July) each year (for on time, correctly completed claims)

June – September

Submission: Due between 1 October and the fifth working day in October each year (can be submitted later, but will incur late payment)

Payment: 1 November (overnight on the first working day of November) each year (for on time, correctly completed claims)

October – January

Submission: Due between 1 February and the fifth working day in February each year (can be submitted later, but will incur late payment)

Payment: 1 March (overnight on the first working day of March) each year (for on time, correctly completed claims)

Is it mandatory to submit the RS7 Return electronically?

Yes, it is a requirement of the ELI Principles of Use to submit the RS7 Return electronically via ELI Web or your SMS.

How will I know if the Ministry has received my electronic RS7 Return?

Once your RS7 Return has been received by the Ministry, an acknowledgement email will be sent. 

All early learning services can access ELI Reports to download an RS7 Funding Return Report which will show what your service has claimed on your RS7 Return.  This report will be available the day after you have submitted the RS7 Return.  Early learning services can access ELI Reports from the ELI Homepage

If your service does not have any users with an Education Sector Account to access ELI Reports, you will need to complete the relevant Education Sector Account Forms for your service.  You can find these forms under the Resources tab.

My service has changed systems (SMS or ELI Web) during a funding period, how should I complete and submit my RS7 Return?

If you have not been using your new system (SMS or ELI Web) for the entire funding period, you can:

  • Submit the portion of your claim electronically, for the full month/s you have been using your new system, and send the paper-based RS7 forms for the month/s before you began using this system.
  • Submit your entire funding claim using the paper RS7 forms.

My service has changed ownership during a funding period, how should I complete and submit my RS7 Return?

The RS7 Return should be submitted by the new owner and all funding will be payable to the new owner of the service.  Any agreement for funding to be paid to the old owner will need to be included in the sale and purchase agreement when the service is sold.  Any payment to the old owner will be actioned by the new owner.  The Ministry does not split payments.

The new owner may submit an electronic RS7 Return for the period after the purchase, and send a paper-based RS7 for the period prior to the purchase.  Alternatively, the new owner can send an entire funding claim using a paper-based RS7 Return. 

My service has closed during a funding period – how should I complete and submit my RS7 Return?

You may need to send a paper-based RS7 form for your last funding claim, as you cannot submit an electronic RS7 Return before the submission period opens.

What happens if I send a paper-based RS7 Return and submit an electronic RS7 Return for the same months?

If the Ministry receives an electronic RS7 Return for the same months that your paper version covers, only your electronic RS7 Return will be used for your funding payment.

I’ve noticed an error in my RS7 Return – how can I correct it?

You can go back into your system (SMS or ELI Web) and correct the error and re-submit your RS7 Return.  The Ministry will use the latest submitted version of the RS7 Return for your service’s funding payment.

Can I submit my RS7 Return early?

No, you cannot submit the RS7 Return prior to the submission period opening.

If you use ELI Web, you can begin entering your data from one month prior to the submission period opening.

How can I advise the Ministry that my service’s details have changed?

You should refer to Chapter 8 of the Early Childhood Education Funding Handbook for information about updating your service’s details.

How do I know what bank account my funding will be paid into?

The Ministry will have a bank account number on record for your service.  If your bank account has changed during the funding period you must complete an RS2 Change of Bank Account Form and send it to the ECE Operational Funding Team at least two weeks prior to the payment date.

My service did not operate on a day that we were expected to. How should I account for this in my RS7 Return?

If your service has had an emergency closure, a substitute/extra day, or a day where no person responsible was present, you should record this as temporary closures within ELI Web or your SMS.  You will also need to contact your Ministry Regional Office to apply for approval.  Services submitting electronic RS7 Returns do not need to send a copy of the Ministry Regional Office approval letter to the ECE Operational Funding team.

Refer to Chapter 7 of the Early Childhood Education Funding Handbook for information about recording and claiming funding for such days. 

Why can’t I put fractions in my electronic RS7 Return?

Only whole numbers are accepted in both electronic and paper-based RS7 Returns.  For more information, refer to Chapter 9 of the Early Childhood Education Funding Handbook.