Kindergarten Fee Charges

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Kindergarten fee charges may be none or as much as $6 an hour or more. Any kindergarten, whether or not it is known as a free kindergarten, can charge fees for children to attend. 

Free Kindergarten Charges and Rules

Previously the Kindergarten Regulations (1959) Clause 14 stated “No fee shall be payable in respect of the attendance of a child at a kindergarten”. 

An Amendment Act dated 21 Dec 1990 read: “Fees may be charged in respect of the attendance, after the commencement of the Education Amendment Act (No. 3) 1990, of any child at any kindergarten (whether or not it is, or is known or described as, a free kindergarten) within the meaning of the Kindergarten Regulations 1959.” It added: “Regulation 14 of the Kindergarten Regulations 1959 is hereby consequentially revoked”.

The Education and Training Act 2020 reads: “Fees may be charged in respect of the attendance of any child at any kindergarten (whether or not it is known or described as a free kindergarten). This has effect despite anything to the contrary in any enactment or rule of law; or anything in the constitution of the body corporate.”

Kindergarten Associations have been granted the power to set their own fees, and the kindergarten system is no longer available to provide pre-school education to all children regardless of their parents’ ability to pay.

Failing to meet minimum standards

The Ministry of Education needs to know:

  • If you are concerned children’s needs are not being met.
  • If you are concerned a service is not meeting a minimum legal requirement.

READ MORE: How to make a complaint and your options.

CAUTION: This page and the information here is provided as part of the My ECE Guide to Regulations and Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education Services (The Guide).  The Guide does not purport to be a full and accurate interpretation of all statutory provisions relating to early childhood education services. While best efforts have been used in preparing this guide, no representations or warranties of any kind are made and My ECE assumes no liabilities of any kind with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the content. Please note that the Government and Ministry of Education may change, update, or alter any of the requirements at any time.  Please help to keep the information on this page up to date by letting us know of changes that need to be made.
Thank you!  Kia pai te rā

Kindergarten Fee Charges. Published in the My ECE Guide to Regulations and Licensing Criteria for Early Childhood Education Services, prepared by Dr Sarah Alexander and Warwick Marshall.

Last reviewed: 20 November 2022


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