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

If you have any questions about funding for playgrounds ring 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 (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.

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

  • Roll number
  • Decile rating (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 also 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.

How we assess applications

We carry out an initial review of your application to make sure you can apply and we use set formula (as detailed under 'What We Fund') to determine our level of support.


When will you hear back?

Notification of Decision

$10,000 & Under

It takes up to 6 weeks for a decision.

$75,000 & Under

It takes up to 8 weeks for a decision. 

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. Read our Managing Your Funding for more information.

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