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How much does a childcare playground cost in 2023?

A childcare playground is not just an area for kids to play; it’s a place for learning and is essential for early childhood development.

Constructing this unique space requires careful planning and budgeting, from design to installation and safety parameters.

Here, we break down the steps to what goes into building such a space and how costs vary based on your choices.

The actual costs of a childcare playground

If you landed on this article, you’re preparing for a childcare playground update or building a new one and need to know how to budget for it.

As a full-service playground company, we’ll guide and work with you from idea to completion of your space.

Understanding the costs: Every childcare playground is unique. Whether you have a vast expanse or a compact area, the goal is to optimise it for children’s play and learning.

This can drive costs up or down and influence your entire design.

Breaking Down the Costs: Now that you know how your childcare playground will be laid out, costs can range from $400 to $1000 per m2.

It’s a considerable bracket to consider, but we’ll discuss the specifics in the topics below. Just scroll down, and we’ll show you how to make the most of your play space budget with features, landscaping, and making the most of your area.

A childcare playground can have tunnels, mound and tracks.
WanaExcel, an Early Childhood Centre designed and built by Creo.

Site Preparation: Laying the Foundation

Before diving into the fun stuff, the site requires careful preparation. Let’s address some common concerns:

  • Do existing structures and surfaces need removal? If there are old elements on the site, their removal and disposal could impact your project’s cost.
  • Are there drainage problems or hidden utilities? If drainage issues or concealed electrical or plumbing lines exist, we’ll collaborate with you to address them.
  • Will trees and their roots be beneficial or problematic? While trees add aesthetic value and shade, their roots can present challenges for surfacing and installation.
  • How easily can equipment access the site? Easily accessible sites for machinery and trucks can lead to time and cost savings.
  • Is pedestrian safety ensured during construction? Securing walkways or installing temporary fences might incur added costs but are crucial for safety.
  • Will the project unfold in phases? A staged development approach can influence both costs and timelines, offering a budget-friendly option for some.

Childcare Playground Design

Your childcare playground design begins with your vision. The features you desire and what’s currently in your playground will help us craft the narrative of your childcare playground. For instance, remember the necessary safety fall zones if a concrete bike track is desired.

Materials like wet-pour rubber can be more economical and space-saving. Throughout the design process, we’ll collaborate to ensure all these considerations come to life without compromising play value.

Surfacing for your Childcare Playground

The childcare playground surface encompasses more than aesthetics; it addresses safety, functionality, and budgetary concerns.

Blending different surfaces, like a sandpit with grass areas, can offer varied play experiences and potentially help manage your budget.

Using safety surfacing in strategic areas, such as tracks and mounds, can eliminate the need for extra space that concrete requires for safety zones.

Check our surfacing equipment options here.

Equipment & Features

Selecting equipment is about finding the right balance between budget and functionality. While slides, swings, and seesaws remain classic favourites, sometimes more straightforward, unprescribed play features and low-height equipment are more suitable for a childcare playground.

Elements like tunnels, mounds, and sensory paths can captivate children and often come with a more appealing price tag.

Check Creo full equipment range here.


Shading is a must, especially during the hotter months. While designing shade sails up to 50m is typically straightforward, incorporating natural options like trees is aesthetically appealing but may pose challenges related to surfacing and maintenance.


Landscaping breathes life into the childcare playground. Whether establishing a garden, embedding vegetable patches, or integrating existing vegetation, a well-landscaped childcare playground is cost-effective and visually compelling.

Plan and Develop in Stages

Not every childcare playground needs to materialise all at once. For those mindful of their budget, phased development can be a strategic choice. 

Start with foundational elements and gradually introduce new features, ensuring each phase offers a fulfilling play experience.

Final Thoughts on Childcare Playground: The True Value of Play

There are myriad elements to consider when allocating funds for your childcare playground, and many factors can significantly adjust your project’s final price tag.

With careful planning, your dream space can emerge—a haven where children can have fun, learn, and cultivate their development.

We aim to guide you through the process without unwelcome surprises. To ensure you’re well-prepared, take a moment to consider which factors will most impact your space.

Ready to chat? Book a site visit here or call us at 0800 000 334.

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