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School and Early Childhood Centre Playground Funding

We provide grants for school and early childhood centre playgrounds, as play and physical activity is important for the wellbeing of children.

Playgrounds also provide low-cost opportunities for children and families to spend time together.

Apply: Anytime

We encourage you to call us to discuss your application prior to application on 0800 500 185 or email

Can you apply?

Applications are accepted from schools and early childhood centres registered with the Ministry of Education and operating in our area Southland, Queenstown, Glenorchy, Arrowtown, Tapanui and Heriot areas.

Early childhood centres will need to be licensed, license-exempt and/or chartered, community based for purpose (not for profit) services including:

  • Playcentres
  • Te Kōhanga Reo
  • Ngā Puna Kohungahunga
  • Pacific Island Centres
  • Kindergartens

Playgroups will be considered on a case-by-case basis and generally we will only fund those operating in community venues.

Schools and early childhood centres can apply for our playground funding once every five years.

What we fund

Upgrading existing playgrounds and developing new playgrounds for Schools and Early Childhood Centres.

We use the following funding formula to determine our level of funding:

  • roll number
  • equity index (for Early Childcare Centre's we base this on your nearest school)
  • organisation's financial contribution
  • playground's accessibility to the wider community

What we don't fund

  • Early childhood services that are:
    • run by private owners (for profit)
    • home based education and care services
  • We don't fund public playgrounds.

How to apply

We encourage you to speak to us before you make your application to understand how our funding formula works and the likely levels of funding. 

Applications are made online. If you haven’t applied before you need to register by providing your name, organisation and email address as well as creating a password – it  only takes a moment.

Once registered you can log in at any time to start an application or to access it again later so you can work on it over time.  To help you prepare you can also download the application form so you can see the questions we ask.

When will you hear back?

Notification of Decision

$10,000 & Under

We have a simplified process for applications requesting $10,000 and under and decisions are generally made within 6 weeks of receiving your application.

$75,000 & Under

Applications requesting between $10,000 and $75,000 involve a more detailed process and decisions can take up to 8 weeks from receiving your application.   

The contact person in your application will receive an email letting them know the decision.


If you’re successful the email will outline the amount approved and any funding conditions. 

If your application is unsuccessful the email will outline the reasons for your application being declined.

Click here for more information about managing your funding.