Fees and funding
How we are funded and supported
We are a non-profit community organisation providing an independent education service. Our primary school, kindergartens and playgroups receive a variety of funding from; government, tuition fees, donations, fundraising, philanthropy and international student fees. The primary school receives minimal government support and is mainly self-funded from tuition fees, donations, and fundraising. The kindergartens are mainly funded by the Ministry of Education. We strive to offer the best educational service possible from the combined income. Tuition fees are compulsory and include GST. The lower school offers a bursary scheme to help families who cannot afford the fees. Donations are voluntary and are not tuition fees or attendance dues. Parents and supporters volunteer their time and skills as teacher aids, cleaners, sports coaches, trustees and fundraisers. This volunteer work helps build a close community and reduce costs.
Capital projects, such as the purchase of buildings and land, have been made possible by donors and interest free loans.
Families of primary school students (6 years and older) can apply for financial assistance through our bursary scheme. The scheme will be introduced in 2018. Details to be confirmed by late September 2017.
Ministry of Education Funding
The Ministry of Education (MoE) funds our Playgroups, Kindergarten and School at very different levels.
The Motueka Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten is registered for the MoE’s 20 Hours Early Childhood Education (ECE) programme. This applies to children from three to five years old, and covers most of our costs for this group. It is based on the hours per week that each child is enrolled for, as well as on staffing levels and qualifications. MoE funding for two-year-olds is at a much lower level.
Our Playgroups each receive around $1,000 per year Early Childhood Education funding from the MoE, which covers the essential expenses for this service.
The Motueka Rudolf Steiner School is an independent primary school and not state funded. The MoE has an annual budget for all NZ independent schools, and that gets divided up on a ‘per pupil’ basis, over the whole country. We expect about $1100 per student from MoE for the 2017 year, which is only about 17% of what the MoE spends on state school students.
Donations qualify for donation tax credits (tuition fees and international student fees not eligible). NZ taxpayers can usually claim back one third of their donations as a Donation Tax Credit at the end of each tax year. Office staff can provide information and IR forms for tax credit claims.
For children from 3 to 5 years old, the Kindergarten receives Ministry of Education ‘20 Hours ECE Funding’, which is intended to cover up to 20 hours per week attendance. However, due to the higher level of service we offer, this funding covers only 85% of our costs. Our Kindergarten has a higher teacher to child ratio, quality organic food is provided where possible, and group dynamics are given priority over filling spaces available. This commitment to quality results in slightly higher running costs but also lower government funding. Donations are required to cover this short fall.
Children generally move from Kindergarten to the School at the start of the year in which they turn seven. However, as soon as they turn six, they are no longer eligible for ECE funding and we receive the much lower school funding rate. Children who have turned six complete their year at kindergarten (five days per week) but their names must be transferred to the primary school roll.
Government funding only covers the essential running costs of a playgroup, such as rent and electricity. Donations are required to provide the extras.