Fees and funding

Fees and Funding

How we are funded and supported

We are a non-profit community organisation providing special character education.  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 primary school offers a social fee model to assist families with low income and/or more children. Donations are voluntary and help fund our special character.  Parents are expected to volunteer time and skills to help run the school and farm and keep fees low.  Volunteer jobs include; teacher aid, cleaning, sports coaching, lawn mowing, trustees and fundraising.  The high level of parent involvement is key to building a close and supportive community.

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

Social fee model

Families of primary school students can apply for financial assistance through our social fee model that considers the personal income and asset situation. The model is for domestic fee-paying students only. Contact the school office for an application form.

Ministry of Education Funding

The Ministry of Education (MoE) funds our Playgroups, Kindergarten and School at very different levels.

The Motueka 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 Playgroup receives around $1,000 per year Early Childhood Education funding from the MoE, which does not cover the fixed running costs. 

The Motueka 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.

Tax Credits

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. Our office staff can provide information and IR forms for tax credit claims.

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.  Due to our special character we provide a higher teacher to child ratio, quality organic food, home visits, and festivals. We also prioritise child welfare over financial performance. We request donations to cover the extra cost of these special character provisions.

Children generally move from our Steiner Kindergarten to the Steienr 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. Tuition fees apply when children turn 6 years old. Children who have turned six complete their year at kindergarten (five days per week) but their names are transferred to the primary school roll.

Playgroup Donations

Donations are requested to help fund the special character elements at playgroup.

2020 Fee Schedule

Playgroup (age 0-2)

$8.00 per session.

Kindergarten (age 3-5)

$2.00 per hour donation requested for ECE funded hours (max 20/week per student).
$5.75 per hour fee, incl. GST, for non-ECE funded hours

Kindergarten (age 6)

$700 per term fee, incl GST. Prorated if the child turns 6 during the term. 
Additional fees for optional holiday program apply.
Note that six year old children must be enrolled at primary school but they remain at kindergarten facility for the calendar year.

Lower School (class 1-7)

Domestic NZ students, per term:

$375 per family + $675 per student fee, incl. GST.

= $1,050 for 1 child.
= $1,725 for 2 children.
= $2,400 for 3 children.

Low income families can apply for a 25% discount.
High income families make a social contribution of 25% to help those who can’t afford the fees.

Class 1-3: $50 per student stationery and materials fee, incl. GST.
Class 4-7: $60 per student stationery and materials fee, incl. GST.

International Students

Non-NZ residents, per term 2021:

$3,000.00 per student, including GST, stationery, materials, etc.

5% discount for 2 students, 10% discount for 3 or more students.
2 terms minimum stay.


Note that all fees are subject to annual review and may change in the future.

Scroll to Top