Our History & Impact

KidsCan was founded in 2005.


The KidsCan Charitable Trust was founded in 2005 by Julie Chapman in her Auckland garage. After hearing continuous media reports about New Zealand children going without the basics, she conducted an evaluation in 80 low decile schools to see how widespread the problem was and how it was affecting children in the classroom. 

The results were overwhelming. Thousands of children were turning up to school cold, wet and hungry because their parents were struggling to make ends meet. Schools reported that this was having a major impact on their learning ability, self-esteem and health. Children who miss out on the basics get sick more often, do worse at school and when they become adults they are more likely to be unemployed and have children who will also grow up in hardship. 

KidsCan began with a generous $40,000 grant from New Zealand Guardian Trust. Today, KidsCan supports the education of thousands of children, in 740 low decile schools and 25 early childhood education centres , throughout New Zealand; providing food, shoes, socks, fleece-lined Vodafone Warriors raincoats and basic hygiene items. 


Our key aim at KidsCan is to ensure children less fortunate have the same opportunity as others to take advantage of their education. Massey University conducted independent research in 2007 and 2010 to evaluate the effectiveness of our programmes. Both evaluations found our partnerships with low decile schools have a significant impact on reducing social issues, increasing participation in class and in raising the self-esteem of children who feel they have no hope.

Our tangible programmes ensure disadvantaged children can get to and through the school and early childhood education centre gates in a better position to learn.

Read more about our work or support a child.