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Childcare Volunteer Program in Cambodia - Phnom Penh

Childcare Volunteer Program in Cambodia - Phnom Penh

Curious about Childcare volunteering in Cambodia? International Volunteer HQ’s Childcare project is based in early childhood centres in the city of Phnom Penh. These centres are often overcrowded, making it hard for local teachers to give children adequate education and attention. Volunteer childcare teachers can relieve this pressure on local staff by assisting with all kinds of daily duties and helping children get the care they need to grow and thrive.

Highlights:
  • Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
  • Affordable fees from AU$689 for 2 weeks
  • Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Help give young children a good start in life and education

  • See Cambodia’s amazing temples and pagodas

  • Stay with other volunteers in the popular city of Phnom Penh

Key information

Provide a safe space for children to learn
Placements in Phnom Penh
Volunteer house accommodation
Volunteers aged 18+ and families
Fully hosted experience from AU$689 for 2 weeks
Durations from 2 - 24 weeks
Visit the famed Angkor Wat
Up to 5 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

Volunteers with plenty of energy and enthusiasm for working with children. Experience or qualifications in early childhood education or teaching will be an advantage but these are not required as you’ll be working with local staff.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Childcare centres in Cambodia are typically underfunded and need volunteers to help provide more attention to children. Developing life skills and strong support networks in a safe and nurturing environment encourages children to build lives where they’re more likely to fulfill their potential. Early exposure to the English language can also help them continue with their education and have a wider range of job opportunities later in life.

As a childcare volunteer in Phnom Penh, you’ll be helping the team at childcare centers look after, entertain and educate kids aged between two and six. You’ll give them your time, care and attention and show them your language and culture.

The tasks that volunteers can expect to take part in on the Childcare project includes:

Administration Cooking Cleaning Feeding Caring for children Teaching, including helping to improve English Assisting with homework Arranging activities such as: painting, drawing, origami, singing, dancing and sports activities

Most placements have a focus on education and include classes on Khmer literacy and English language, and volunteers will need to be prepared to teach classes independently. Topics such as morality, hygiene and Khmer traditions are also discussed with the children. Some placements organize visits to the beach or local villages.

COVID-19 requirements for Cambodia: Please note that currently the Cambodia program orientation is based out of Siem Reap, which means that there is a requirement for volunteers to fly into Siem Reap for their program. There is a requirement for all volunteers on the Cambodia program to be fully COVID-19 vaccinated (including booster), at least 14 days before flying to Cambodia.

These measures are in place until further notice so please do keep this in mind for your planning. Please also ensure that you check with your nearest Cambodian embassy regarding entry restrictions due to Covid-19 based on your nationality and start date, and let me know if you would like to make changes to your program details.

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

More than half of all children and teens do not meet minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics. Quality education provides an opportunity to learn and grow in a safe environment and is key to preventing poverty, securing long-term employment and improving quality of life.

Why do Childcare volunteering in Phnom Penh with IVHQ?

When you volunteer on the Childcare project in Cambodia, you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Giving care and attention to local children
  • Helping students develop life skills in a safe place
  • Giving overworked local teachers a hand
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining childcare experience
  • Immersing yourself fully in the Khmer culture
  • Exploring Cambodia’s many temples and beaches

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
  • All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
  • All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
  • All volunteers must speak fluent English.
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

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What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

SC
Sophie Cunningham
31 Jan 2024

I feel like I gained a huge insight into the children in Cambodia, how they struggle and their living conditions - it's very sad but they still all have a huge smile on their faces. I would give the advice that it's an amazing experience and you will meet amazing people too. Working with the children everyday is something that I will treasure for ever.

...
MM
Marisa Meas
16 Jan 2024

The program guide was super useful. The local team was amazing, and so helpful. I felt so welcomed and they really helped me settle in.

My experience at my placement was AMAZING. That place genuinely had the children as their main priority and everyone is clearly passionate about helping the local children. Every aspect was covered such as food, entertainment, education, basic hygiene, etc. I enjoyed my experience so much that I gathered donations from relatives to donate to the organization because I felt that every contribution was actually making an impact.

The child care project is definitely the best way to directly make an impact. You can make a connection with the children and the locals there. You can gain insight of good places to visit too from locals you encounter at your placement.

...
BN
Bella Nielsen
01 Nov 2023

I met many great people throughout my trip. Volunteering in Cambodia has given me great skills, taught me about discipline and has also made me realise how we sometimes take things for granted.

...
KK
Koser Khaliq
02 Feb 2023

Top class guidance and preparation resources - very thorough.

I had an enlightening cultural conversation with the local team at my orientation which made me realise how we are all the same - regardless of where you live in the world. The local team was super diligent and authentic - we had some great conversations on our road trip from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh.

I would like to say how much I enjoy teaching! The enthusiasm of the kids also. Given their background they were happy, loving, fun and attentive.

My life was heading in a certain direction and this trip solidified what my dreams are. And how I would like to contribute in the future. I grew as a person and by asking more questions this time around I got a better experience and made more of a valid contribution.

In the words of Nike - Just Do It! Experience a new culture, food, make friends, opportunities to travel and make a difference on the lives of those less fortunate, what's not to like!

...
NS
Nicholas Stanig
31 Aug 2022

IVHQ provided me with very good and informative preparation materials about the placement and the destination! All the local team were fantastic and they ensured that I was comfortable throughout my two weeks.

I didn't really have a favorite moment but all I can say was that it was a privilege of a lifetime to be able to have fun and share moments with some fantastic kids! It was a fantastic experience and I would definitely do something similar again with IVHQ. You will make friendships that last a lifetime and have a chance to have a meaningful impact on peoples' lives!

...
RL
Richard Lauriston
10 Mar 2022

Fantastic experience! Overwhelmed by the warmth and friendliness from all at the placement and within the local team.
At 65 years of age, I never felt out of place. I got on well with my fellow volunteers and went out on some great experiences on the weekends.
I will return for more of the same later in the year!

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

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Volunteer Abroad in Cambodia with IVHQ

Location

In the heart of Southeast Asia, Cambodia is a country full of beauty and tragedy. As well as an abundance of beautiful beaches and temples there are many reminders of the history of genocide and civil war that left Cambodia one of the least developed countries in the world. In Phnom Penh there are numerous places where you can learn about what happened, including the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum or Choeung Ek Genocidal Centre. It is important to be informed about these poignant events in order to gain a better understanding and deeper respect for the Cambodian people and their culture.

As an IVHQ volunteer in Cambodia you could be based at placements in the capital city of Phnom Penh, the remote city of Battambang, or by the impressive temples of Siem Reap.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of the month and volunteers need to arrive in Siem Reap on the Sunday before orientation. There are two airport pick-ups times available: one at 10:00am and the other at 4:00pm. Arriving later than the Sunday before your start date is not allowed, as volunteers need to be ready for orientation early on Monday morning.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport (SAI). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee when utilizing the 10:00am and 4:00pm pick-ups.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and taken to the volunteer accommodation in Siem Reap. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the Sunday night before your program orientation.

If you are travelling in Cambodia prior to your volunteer program, the local team can pick you up on Sunday from any hostel or hotel in Siem Reap.

Orientation is hosted by our Cambodia team at the volunteer house in Siem Reap. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Cambodia – an introduction to Cambodia, its culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising.

Although you are expected to fly into Siem Reap, as this is where the program orientation is held, your placement may be based elsewhere; either Siem Reap, Phnom Penh or Battambang. After your time on the program ends, you can either fly out of Siem Reap or Phnom Penh, although please note that your transportation back to the relevant airport is at your own expense.

Volunteer schedule example

First Day

On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.

Weekdays - A typical volunteer day might be:

7:00 AM Breakfast in the volunteer house or with your host family
9:00 AM Volunteer leaves home and travels to the project to begin work
12:00 - 2:00 PM Lunch break. In Cambodia all workplaces have a lunch break for about 2 hours. Some start earlier, some later. During this lunch break you are welcome to stay at your placement. Some placements will offer you food.
2:00 - 5:00 PM Work at the project usually ends. You are free to travel home, sightsee or do some shopping.
7:00 PM Dinner in the volunteer house or with the host family.

Weekends

Cambodia is packed with a vast range of things to do and see in your free time. In the modern capital city of Phnom Penh you can visit the king’s official residence, The Royal Palace, and the famous Silver Pagoda, check out the huge art-deco market, cruise along the Mekong or learn about Cambodia’s devastating history at one of the many museums.

The tourist hub of Siem Reap is home to Angkor Wat, a collection of temples that together form the largest religious monument in the world. There are many hotels, resorts, markets and museums, and nearby is a lake with floating villages, a national park featuring waterfalls, rivers and Cambodia’s largest reclining Buddha.

During the long public holidays in April, September and November, you may also wish to travel further afield to Laos, Vietnam or Thailand.

Accommodation and WiFi

You will be accommodated in either a volunteer house, guesthouse or home-stay and you can expect to share a room with four other IVHQ volunteers, who are of the same gender. Bedrooms are comprised of bunk beds with bedding provided, which includes a bottom sheet, blanket and pillow. Although there is no air conditioning, electric fans are provided in each room and if volunteers require additional cooling, they are able to request an additional fan via the local team.

If you’re volunteering in Siem Reap, you’ll be accommodated in a volunteer house. Volunteer houses have electricity and running water and the majority of rooms have private bathrooms. In each volunteer house, there is a sitting area, dining area, TV and Wi-Fi.

For those volunteers placed in Phnom Penh, you will be accommodated in either a homestay hosted by a family who has been approved by the local team in Cambodia or a local guesthouse, depending on where your placement is located. Both the guesthouse and the homestay also have electricity and running water. Being in a homestay for your duration on the program is a fantastic way to experience the local culture and even if you are placed in a local guesthouse, this is still a great way to interact with the local community.

If your placement is in the province of Battambang, you will stay on-site in the school compound. You will have a separate room which you will share with up to one other volunteer. Electricity, running water, western bathrooms and Wi-Fi are provided.

Meals

Volunteers in Cambodia are provided with three meals a day which are served in the volunteer house. Breakfast generally consists of seasonal fruit and bread with a variety of spreads such as; peanut butter and jam.

Lunch and dinner is usually rice or noodles with fried vegetables and meat. These meals include a wide range of dishes consisting of rice, vegetables and meat with sweet, salty, bitter and sour flavors. Volunteers on the Animal Care project should expect a packed vegan lunch.

If you have any special dietary requirements, please let the team know when you apply for the program so arrangements can be made.

Pricing

  • USD
Duration
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
2 weeks AU$689 Equivalent to AU$49/day
3 weeks AU$906 Equivalent to AU$43/day
4 weeks AU$1090 Equivalent to AU$39/day
5 weeks AU$1275 Equivalent to AU$36/day
6 weeks AU$1459 Equivalent to AU$35/day
8 weeks AU$1828 Equivalent to AU$33/day
10 weeks AU$2197 Equivalent to AU$31/day
12 weeks AU$2558 Equivalent to AU$30/day
16 weeks AU$3264 Equivalent to AU$29/day
20 weeks AU$3970 Equivalent to AU$28/day
24 weeks AU$4676 Equivalent to AU$28/day
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Airport pick-up
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately AU$527) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in AUD.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • The Animal Care project has an extra cost of US$10 per week to cover the resources that the local team donate to the placements, i.e. food and snacks, while the Medical project has a separate fees table (please see the Cambodia Medical project page) to cover the support you receive from the hospital staff.
  • Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Cambodia generally find US$50-80 per week to be sufficient for expenses.

Check what's required to visit Cambodia

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Capital Phnom Penh
Population 16.49 million
Languages Khmer
Currency Cambodian Riel (KHR)
Time zone UTC+07:00

Weather and climate

Cambodia has two distinct seasons. The rainy season, which runs from May to October, can see temperatures drop to 22°C (71.6°F) and is generally accompanied by high humidity. The dry season lasts from November to April and temperatures can rise up to 40°C (104°F ) around April.

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How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!