From 1929 to 1942 Miss Grace Buchanan operated a private kindergarten from the Methodist church's schoolroom in Waitoa Road, taking children from 3½ to 7 years old. In 1942 Miss Buchanan moved to Havelock North, and by November 1944 the Hataitai Nursery Play Centre was operating from the Methodist schoolroom. The Evening Post reported that the centre "continued to be of benefit to the children and mothers of the district".
In April 1944 the Council granted land to the Nursery Play Centre to build on the Waipapa Road reserve. (The reserve appears to be the area off Arcus Way that is today a play area, though I haven't confirmed this). By September 1945 local people were raising funds for the Hataitai Free Kindergarten and Children's Play Centre which was to be built on the Waipapa Reserve, next to Plunket Rooms which had opened on 24 March 1943. However it looks like plans were changed, because the kindergarten was built on land above Taurima Road near the tunnel entrance and still operates from this site.
Hataitai also has a another kindergarten, formerly a creche, that operates from the Waipapa Road reserve, and a Playcentre which since 1986 has operated from the old headmaster's house attached to Kilbirnie School.