Our funding

Funding Summary

 Follow this link to see our funding streams and amounts  Fundingtable.docx

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 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.  Donations from parents are voluntary and are not attendance fees.  We are committed to making Steiner education accessible to all families, irrespective of their ability to make financial donations.  In addition to financial donations, parents and supporters volunteer their time and skills.  This volunteer labour helps keep our costs down and builds a close community.  Volunteer’s help as teacher aids, cleaners, sports coaches, trustees and run fundraising events.  Our unique mix of funding and volunteer labour allow us to accept all children and create a diverse and egalitarian school community.

Capital projects, such as the purchase of buildings and land, have been made possible by donors and interest free loans.


Inside the Yellow kindergarten

Ministry of Education

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 $1000 per student from MoE for the 2016 year, which is only about 17% of what the MoE spends on state school students.


Tax Credits

Donations qualify for donation tax credits (tuition fees and international student fees not eligible) and generally one third of all donations can be claimed back at the end of each tax year.  Office staff can provide information and IR forms for tax credit claims.

School garden

Primary School Costs

Tuition fees, donations and fundraising are the main source of funding for the primary school.  Annual costs for activities and materials start at around $100 for Class 1 and increase to around $400 for Classes 5 to 7.

International student fees are $2,125 per child per term (quarter-year), or $8,500 per year, plus a one-off $200 administration fee.

International student fees, and activities and material costs are non-negotiable, include 15% Goods and services Tax, and are not eligible for the one third Donations Tax Credit.

Kindergarten Donations

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.

Playgroup Donations

Government funding only covers the essential running costs of a playgroup, such as rent and electricity.  Donations are required to provide the extras.