Minister Joe O’Brien welcomes €1k for all early learning & care services to support outdoor play. Plus grant for Balrothery public playground

2nd June, 2021

Minister Joe O’Brien (Green Party)

Dublin Fingal

2nd June 2021


Minister Joe O’Brien welcomes €1k for all early learning & care services to support outdoor play.

Plus grant for Balrothery public playground

Minister Joe O’Brien, T.D., has welcomed the announcement of the Summer of Play initiative to support and encourage children and their families to get outside and play as restrictions ease in the coming months. The initiative, announced by Green Party colleague Minister Roderic O’Gorman will see grants, supports and information resources rolled out over the summer months, creating opportunities for children and their families to enjoy a summer of play and a project in Fingal is to receive funding.

As part of the Summer of Play launch, €6 million in funding is being provided to support outdoor play. The funding is being rolled out through two grants:

  • The Playing Outside Grant for Early Learning and Care and School-Aged Childcare services will provide €5.5 million in funding for services to enhance their outdoor spaces.

The breakdown of the grant allocation to services is as follows and is available to Tusla registered early learning and care and school-age childcare services that are in receipt of DCEDIY funding:

Number of Children Registered Grant Amount Available Number of Services Supported
1-49 €1000 3,405
50-100 €2000 800
100+ €2,500 124



  • €450,000 for the Local Authorities Play and Recreation grant will fund the refurbishment and development of playgrounds and play areas across the country. The projects funded encompass a wide range of initiatives that will deliver diverse benefits to children and young people and have a positive impact on communities. They include projects such as sensory gardens, learn to cycle tracks, and natural play trails.


Minister O’Brien said:

I am thrilled that the Adventure Trail & all-inclusive Zipline in Glebe Park playground at Balrothery will receive funding.”

We all know that play is how children grow, learn and discover. And after a tough year, it will also be how children reconnect with their family, friends and their communities and recover from the impact of the pandemic.”

Local Green Party Councillor Karen Power commented:

I am delighted with the announcement from my Green Party colleague Minister O’Gorman which will see funding allocated for some fantastic outdoor play facilities for Balrothery. Having worked closely with the Balrothery Community Association I know how much the community needs such facilities and how welcome this amenity in Glebe Park will be. I look forward to taking my two little ones to the adventure trail and zipline over the summer months

Also announced is a resource for families to support their children’s play – Let’s Play Ireland. The Let’s Play Ireland website, which was originally launched in 2020 and gives families access to a range of play resources for children, has now been updated and relaunched for summer 2021. The resource includes content on activities for parents to enjoy with their children, tips on supporting children with their feelings, and ideas and activities for learning through play.

The Let’s Play Ireland website on has been updated and is packed with new resources for children and families to enjoy. The two grants announced today will further support this by providing safe, inclusive spaces for children to play in their communities.


For more information contact


Note to Editor:

The online resources are available at

National Play Day – will commence on the first weekend in July. In advance of this, additional grants will be announced to fund events held by Local Authorities to promote play and recreation in local communities and focus where possible on children who face additional challenges.