Fees and Subsidies

Find out more about fees and subsidies for home-based early learning and care. 

How it works

Home-based early learning works a little differently to other early learning care types because educators are independent contractors. This means that, while they are registered with Tiny Nation to deliver an early childhood care and education programme, they set their own terms and conditions with the families that enrol with them.

Every educator has their own set hourly rate or fee that they charge, along with conditions of care that are specific to their service and environment.

Educator Fees

On average, Tiny Nation educators charge between $7 and $10 per hour, per child. This can differ (and can be more or less than the average) depending on a number of factors, including the educator’s location, experience and any ‘added extras’ that they might offer as a part of their service.

Your educator will have a ‘Care Contract’ that outlines their terms and conditions, including any fees. They will work through this with you prior to enrolment so that you can agree these together and feel comfortable with the care arrangement.


20 Hours ECE

If your child is between 3 and 6 years old, you will be eligible to receive 20 Hours Early Childhood Education (ECE), which is a universal funding subsidy provided by the Ministry of Education. This means that the cost of care can be funded for up to 6 hours a day and up to 20 hours a week. Our Tiny Nation enrolment form includes an attestation where you write and sign for the days and hours you are claiming as 20 Hours ECE. The subsidy is paid directly to Tiny Nation and passed onto your educator for the days and hours attested.

A home-based educator top-up payment is an allowable payment for the hours of 20 Hours ECE. Parents agree to this payment as a condition of enrolment. Once agreed to, the payment is enforceable as a compulsory payment. The top-up payment is no more than the difference between the educator’s hourly fee for hours outside of 20 Hours ECE and the Tiny Nation’s subsidy pass through of $5 for 20 Hours ECE enrolments. For example, an educator charges $10 per child per hour for hours outside of ECE. Tiny Nation passes through $5 per hour for each child eligible for 20 Hours ECE funding. The educator can then require parents of these eligible children to pay the difference of $5 per hour. Parents who are eligible for childcare assistance subsidies can use these subsidies to pay for home-based educator top-up payments.

Work and Income

Tiny Nation is a Work and Income approved early childhood education provider. If your family is on a low or middle income, you may be eligible for a childcare subsidy, which is a payment that families can apply for to help with the cost of pre-school childcare. You can find out more about this subsidy and other available home help payments by visiting the Work and Income website (www.workandincome.govt.nz).


FamilyBoost is a childcare payment to help eligible households pay for the cost of ECE. If you’re eligible you will be able to claim up to 25% of your weekly childcare fees, or a maximum of $975 every 3 months. From October 2024, families are able to register for and claim FamilyBoost in myIR.  You can then claim every three months by providing copies of invoices or statements from your ECE provider. If eligible, payments will be made directly to families and not to the service provider. You can find out more about FamilyBoost payments here.

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