Annual Early Childhood Education (ECE) Return for the Return Week 18 to 24 June 2018

From here you can access the ECE return collection forms, definitions for completing the return, and code tables relevant to the return.
ECE Return Statistics, Publications and Guidelines

Please consider the environment before printing the contents of this report. For links to statistical data and publications from ECE Returns in previous years, as well as return forms and guidelines helpful for completing your return, please refer to the 'Related Pages' inset box.


The Annual ECE Child and Staff Return is completed by early childhood education services and gives the Ministry of Education a 'snapshot' of the number of enrolled children and staff at licensed services. This information contributes to a comprehensive information base on early childhood education in New Zealand and is used in the development of policy and monitoring in early childhood education.

Services Using Early Learning Information System (ELI)

ELI is an information system for ECE. It collects and stores information on participating children's enrolment and attendance in ECE. Information is also collected on staff working in each ECE service.

  • ELI is now available to most ECE services to complete the ECE Return. This is the replacement of the paper-based RS61 form services used to complete.
  • ELI allows ECE services to submit data to the Ministry electronically. Services using ELI as at 31 May 2018 can submit through their student management systems or ELI Web.
  • More information on ELI can be found on the ELI website. If you have further queries, you can contact the Ministry at: ELI Queries Mailbox or by calling 0800 ECE ECE (0800 323 323).

Services Not Using ELI (RS61 Return Forms) 

If your service is not connected to Early Learning Information (ELI) you can now complete your return digitally and make your submission via Email. While in previous years services were required to select the return form appropriate to their type of business, from 2018 we have amalgamated all four return forms (RS61E, RS61H, RS61P and RS61PG) into one digital form. Please refer to the RS61 Early Childhood Education Return Guidelines and Definitions and the information on the form to determine which questions are relevant to your business.

Playcentre and Kindergarten Associations

For playcentre and kindergarten associations, the same return needs to be completed as previous years, i.e. the paper-based RS61SP and paper-based RS61SK forms respectively.

2018 ECE Return Forms

Licensed Playcentres, Education and Care Services, Home-based Education and Care Services, and Playgroups:File Type & Size  
Licensed Playcentres Association:File Type & Size  
Licensed Kindergartens Association:File Type & Size  

Historical Annual ECE Child and Staff Returns

July 2017 Returns

Licensed Playcentres:File Type & Size  
Licensed Education and Care Services:File Type & Size  
Home-based Education and Care Services:File Type & Size  
Licensed Kindergartens:File Type & Size  
Playgroups:File Type & Size  

July 2016 Returns

Licensed Playcentres:File Type & Size  
Licensed Education & Care Services:File Type & Size  
Home-based Services:File Type & Size  
Playgroups:File Type & Size  

Contact Us

Early Learning Information System (ELI)
For more information or assistance with ELI survey please contact:
Phone: 0800 323 323
Email:ELI Queries Mailbox

Annual ECE Child & Staff Return
For questions about the July 2019 Annual ECE Child and Staff Return please contact:
Phone: +64 4 439 5390
Email:ECE Statistics Mailbox