Critical Dates for the RS7 Return due February 2020

Critical Dates for the RS7 Return due February 2020

Key funding dates for the upcoming March 2020 payment are as follows:  



Saturday, 1 February 2020

Open date for RS7 Return submission

Monday, 10 February 2020

Final date for paper and electronic RS7 Returns to be received by the Ministry of Education for funding to be paid on Monday, 2 March 2020

Monday, 2 March 2020 (Overnight)

ECE Operational Funding payment occurs

  The March 2020 payment includes:

  • wash-up funding October 2019 to January 2020
  • advance funding March to June 2020

The wash-up payment for February 2020 will be made in July 2020.  

It is expected that most services will submit their RS7 Returns electronically via the Early Learning Information (ELI) System.   

ELI homepage   

Paper RS7 forms will be sent to services not using ELI. If you are posting your paper RS7 Return, please see the NZ Post website for delivery times to ensure that it will be returned in time.  

NZ Post website  

Electronic submissions are processed overnight and received by the Ministry the following day. The Ministry will send you an email confirming that we have received your RS7. Note that no confirmation emails will be sent out during weekends. If you do not receive an email within 2-3 days after submitting your RS7, please check your Student Management System (SMS) to ensure that it has been sent, then contact to check that your email address is up to date.  

You should also receive confirmation from your SMS that your RS7 has been submitted successfully. If you are unsure, please contact your SMS provider.  

RS7 Returns received after 10 February 2020 will result in a late payment.  

SMS Users

Please ensure you have a user who is set up to submit RS7s and will be available during the submission dates of 1-9 February. This will ensure your RS7 Return is submitted on time for the 2 March 2020 payment. If you have changed your SMS, or undergone a change of ownership during the funding period, you may need to submit some or all data via paper RS7 Return. For more information about the RS7 Return, please see RS7 Return questions and answers page on the ELI Homepage or email  

Funding (RS7 Return) questions & answers   

Funding notices

Funding notices are mailed to services on the payment date. The Ministry does not provide confirmation of payment amounts prior to this date.  

New record keeping requirement for discretionary hours

Services are also required to submit a record of the total number of discretionary hours they have used, during this funding period to the Ministry. If no hours were used, then no submission is required. The reporting requirements are explained in a separate article in this bulletin.  

Other key information

For further information, please refer to the Funding Handbook located on our website. For any questions, or if you need to discuss any ECE funding issues, please contact the Resourcing Contact Centre, Monday to Friday, 8am – 5pm:

  • phone: 0800 ECE ECE (0800 323 323)
  • email:
  • postal address: ECE Operational Funding, Ministry of Education, PO Box 1666, Wellington 6140
  • physical address: ECE Operational Funding, Ministry of Education, 33 Bowen Street, Wellington 6011.

For all other queries, please contact your local office.    Local Ministry offices   Key ECE funding dates for 2020 are available to download from our website.   Key ECE funding dates for 2020