What is Children’s Ground?

Childrens GroundFrom infants to Elders, Children’s Ground works with entire First Nations communities over a 25 year period to make real and lasting change.

Designed with First Nations leaders, the evidence-based approach partners with whole communities to transform lives and ‘Close the Gap’!

With the support of philanthropic and government funding, they have commenced implementing the 25 year strategy in a staged approach:

  • Walk, Talk & Act Community engagement & planning (12-24 months)
  • Access & Engagement Establishing the Children’s Ground Approach (1-3 years)
  • Opportunity – A new norm emerging (4-10 years)
  • Change & Consolidation (11-20 years)
  • Sustainability (20-25 years & ongoing)

Their approach is implemented across 5 key areas: learning, family health, economic development, community development and creative and cultural development.


  • early childhood and primary learning
  • First Nations learning and development (including Learning on Country)
  • Western learning and development (including English literacy and numeracy)
  • After hours and holiday extracurricular activities

Childrens Ground

Family Health

  • nutrition
  • health promotion
  • maternal and child health
  • social and emotional wellbeing
  • environmental health
  • cultural health
  • health and emotional literacy integrated into learning

Economic development

  • creating a strong, local workforce
  • establishing First Nations social enterprises
  • training opportunities
  • financial and consumer literacy
  • economic and skills development in curriculum

Community Development

  • creating places of safety and inclusion
  • supporting strong, local governance
  • building social, cultural and economic capital of communities

Creative and cultural development
Engaging children, young people and families in cultural knowledge and practice including strengthening and revitalising First languages.

The significance of their approach is not just what they do, but how they do it. The blue circles in the diagram below represent how they do it, this is what makes their work unique:

Why are we partnering?

In 2008, the Australian government made a formal commitment to address Indigenous disadvantage in Australia, known as ‘Closing the Gap’ and set measurable targets.

Despite 13 years of work, annual reports have shown limited progress and in some cases an ongoing failure to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

At the same time, in their early progress evaluation of Children’s Ground in Central Australia, they are making an impact against Closing the Gap outcomes!

82% of children (0-5 years) across four communities engaged in early years learning.

Before Children’s Ground, only 14% had previously engaged in early learning.
Children engaging in early learning in their First Language has improved children’s Cultural and Western learning and development outcomes.

89% of families reported that children’s physical and mental health improved through engagement with Children’s Ground.

People who were living with chronic unemployment are now working: 84% were unemployed when they started at Children’s Ground.

We are partnering with Children’s Ground because we have no doubt that it is empowering vulnerable people to transform their lives.

We love that the model is led by First Nations people, evidence based, delivered in communities and focused on prevention as well as the alleviation of poverty.

How can you help?

By partnering with Children’s Ground we get a glimpse of how we might close the gap at a local level; an approach that can be utilised nationwide.

See the impact you'll help to have

Real people.
Real stories.

View Payton Annual Report

What’s possible when we work together.