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Childcare Volunteer Project in Sri Lanka

Childcare Volunteer Project in Sri Lanka

Excited to be a Childcare volunteer in Sri Lanka? International Volunteer HQ’s Childcare project empowers volunteers to assist at a childcare centre in Kandy. Volunteers gain experience in childcare while giving overworked local staff an extra hand and helping them provide high quality care and attention to local kids.

  • Programs start every Monday
  • Affordable fees from AU$603 for 1 week
  • Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Support teachers and students in busy childcare centres

  • Enjoy Sri Lanka’s beaches and mountains

  • Stay in comfortable volunteer houses in tropical, green Kandy

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Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

Key information

Provide a safe space for children to learn
Based in pre-schools and daycare centres within Kandy
Stay in a volunteer house
Volunteers aged 16+ and families
Fully hosted experience from AU$603 for 1 week
Durations from 1 - 12 weeks
Introduction Week Orientation available
Up to 5 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

Energetic, caring volunteers who like working with children and are willing to help out with a wide range of tasks that may be required by the centre. You’ll be working with local teachers so no experience is necessary.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Childcare centres can be busy environments when they’re well resourced, but when they’re understaffed they just have to do the best they can with what they have. Volunteers are needed in a range of different childcare placements in Kandy to give children more attention and ease the burden on local staff.

As a volunteer you will play an important role assisting local teachers and providing them a helping hand in the classroom. To help young children learn, practice their English and enjoy their introduction to basic educational concepts, you will be using your creative skills through songs, dances, games, and repetition exercises. You’ll be in a structured environment with children ranging in age from 2 to 6 years old. By providing attention and care, you can help build a positive and loving atmosphere in the centers, fostering development and confidence in the children. You can assist with:

  • Assisting local teachers with English lessons
  • Arranging games, activities, arts and crafts
  • Talking, playing and singing with children
  • Sharing your language and culture
  • Washing clothes
  • Cleaning up
  • Gardening

In the morning, you will be expected to volunteer there from 8:30 - 12:30 AM and in the afternoon you will do some lesson planning and preparation for the following day or help with another afternoon placement in Kandy.

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 Kandy with IVHQ?

When you volunteer with children in Sri Lanka you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Supporting local staff to provide quality childcare
  • Helping students develop life skills in a safe place
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining childcare experience
  • Immersing yourself in Sri Lankan culture
  • Discovering Sri Lanka’s rich history

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
  • Volunteers aged 16 or 17 on their program start date are required to provide IVHQ with parental consent in order to participate on the program, and may be asked to provide additional document to the local team.
  • 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
  • To respect the local culture and customs in Sri Lanka, volunteers should be aware that they’re unable to have anything obstructing their face while at their volunteer placement.
  • 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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'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

Holly Huckstadt
23 May 2024

Do not hesitate to join this program! Everyone in Sri Lanka was so nice, welcoming, and friendly. I always felt safe and comfortable there. Make sure to do the week long introduction if you are able. I got to experience a lot of the culture that I wouldn't have been able to otherwise. It was amazing to volunteer on the sea turtle conservation project. They do a lot of good work for the sick and injured sea turtles. The locals also care for a lot of the stray dogs and cats as well. It was nice to be around so many people who cared for animals. I highly recommend the Sri Lanka program. I was there for 3 weeks and was not ready to leave!

Rathigka Subramaniam
23 May 2024

The place I volunteered was definitely such a heartwarming place with lots of lovely people. The kids and ladies were really adorable. I had a good time feeding them and of course cleaning the big home and doing laundry. The residents were all so helpful and engaging.

If you are intending to reach out for people in need, this is the best platform. Don’t hesitate, get started. It warms your heart knowing that you gave something valuable to someone in need.

Bonnie Smith
28 Nov 2023

I left Sri Lanka feeling beyond grateful for the opportunity, it was so rewarding and heart warming knowing I made so many children happy and helped with their day to day needs, I will never ever forget this amazing experience and have so many special memories now forever because of volunteering, I would recommend this to anyone! The whole process from beginning to the end was perfect, and the memories you will have for life!

Leyla Doghri
06 Sep 2023

I never thought I would gain as much experience, peace, and positive energy from this trip. I probably didn't change the world but I helped in my way, with my means, my ambition. Today I realized that it was something that made me happy, only by seeing others fulfilled with joy, trying new things and seeing that people care for them, that's what I live for, and I can't wait to have that feeling of a proud achievement again. Thank you to IVHQ, you made my dream come true, and I hope for the best next summer.

Lynn Nader
22 Aug 2023

The people were amazing. I’ve never met anyone so generous and helpful. The local team organized everything for us and always made sure we got home safely. They have a special place in my heart. I feel like I grew as a person. The kids had a bigger impact on my life than I had on theirs. I was introduced to a new world and a new culture that I did not expect to be so wonderful. The kids there will forever have my heart. I feel like I changed and I'm more mature and aware of the world surrounding me. To anyone who is thinking about joining the program, it is worth every breath, every penny, every step, to see those smiles.

Jacqueline Alces
28 Mar 2023

My favorite moments were singing and learning the Sri Lankan dances with the kids, having the children sit around listening to stories as I read them books, the hugs from the children and teachers at the end and a lovely gift of a painting of elephants my favorite animal) from the principal. Thank you cards from the teachers and children. Meeting other volunteers from other countries and sharing our lives. My advice is just go for it. If I can do it, you certainly can. A wonderful saying at a local restaurant "A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. " This experience will never leave me. I am so glad I did it!!


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 Sri Lanka with IVHQ


Known as the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’, Sri Lanka is an island nation set off the south-east coast of India. Famous for its tea plantations, cinnamon exports and cricket rivalries, it also boasts a vast array of beaches, Buddhas and big beasts like elephants and whales.

While Sri Lanka is a well-developed country which has made great strides towards making sure its residents don’t live in extreme poverty, there are still many places outside of the main centres where people struggle to access good quality education, healthcare and earn a decent living to support themselves and their families. Volunteers can help in these areas by providing important support to local initiatives that aim to improve the quality of life for people in these disadvantaged areas.

Most of IVHQ’s Sri Lanka volunteer projects are based in the small, sacred city of Kandy.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins every Monday and volunteers need to arrive in Colombo anytime on the Saturday or Sunday before orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) on Sunday. Your airport pick-up on this day is included in your Program Fee. We recommend that volunteers under the age of 18 travel internationally with a notarized letter from their parents to support their documentation.

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

If you are travelling in Sri Lanka prior to your volunteer program, you can meet the local team at the airport in Colombo on the Sunday before your program begins, or make your own way directly to the local team’s office in Kandy.

Orientation is run by the local team in Kandy, beginning on the Monday morning of your start date. Volunteers can choose to join a One-day Orientation or Introduction Week Orientation.

One-day Orientation:

This provides you with all the key information you need, plus the chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising. It includes an introduction to Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan customs, rules and expectations, safety in Sri Lanka, travel opportunities in Sri Lanka, an introduction to your volunteer project and placement, Kandy city tour, cultural show and basic Sinhala language lessons.

Introduction Week Orientation:

This is a fantastic way to start your volunteer experience in Sri Lanka and gives you the time to dive deeper into the culture and activities. It will include everything on the One-Day Orientation as well as visits to a Buddhist monastery, a spice garden and the famous Temple of the Tooth. You’ll also get to take a Sri Lankan cooking class, and Batik lesson.

If you wish to participate in the Introduction Week, you can indicate this on your application form when you apply for the program or let your Program Manager know at least two weeks before you begin the program.

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 is as follows:

7:30 AM Breakfast at the volunteer house.
8:00 AM Volunteers go to the placement and help.
12:30 PM Volunteer break for lunch.
2:00 PM Volunteers plan for their project the following day or helping on other projects if available.
5:30 PM Dinner at the volunteer house.

Please note, this schedule can vary.


During the weekends, volunteers are free to relax or take the opportunity to explore other parts of Kandy and Sri Lanka. Kandy itself is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has an exciting selection of things to see and do. You can visit a number of beautiful and ornate temples including the Temple of the Tooth - an important shrine housing a canine tooth said to belong to the Buddha; wander in the grand and impressive Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya; tour a tea plantation and factory; sample the tasty and widely-regarded local cuisine; or take a walk up to the biggest Buddha statue in Sri Lanka and be rewarded with fantastic panoramic views of the city. Long weekends can be taken to travel further afield to destinations, such as Colombo, Galle or even Southern India.

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers in Kandy are accommodated in a volunteer house. Bedrooms have bunk beds and you can expect to share a room with four to nine other volunteers of the same gender.

Living is comfortable and the accommodation has electricity, fans, running water. Bathrooms in the volunteer houses are all western style with a toilet, basin and a warm shower. Bedding is provided and includes a pillow with pillow case and top and bottom sheets. You will need to bring a towel, toiletries including hand soap and toilet paper, and a mosquito net if you wish to sleep with one.

The volunteer house has a safe member staying in the house at night and there is an 8:00pm curfew on weeknights and 12:00pm on weekends at the volunteer accommodation, please be considerate and reduce noise.

To access the internet during your program, we recommend bringing an unlocked mobile phone and purchasing a local SIM card when you arrive in Sri Lanka, as WiFi is not available in the volunteer accommodation.

Private rooms can be arranged for an additional $90 per person, per week, subject to availability at the time.

Please note that families with younger children are required to book a private room for their time on the program.


Volunteers on the Sri Lanka program are provided with three meals a day during the week and brunch and dinner during the weekend. Breakfast includes toast, eggs, fruit, tea, coffee and milk. Sri Lankan foods served for lunch and dinner include roti bread, dhal, curries, vegetables and salads. Meat is rarely eaten except on festive occasions.

Bottled water is readily available in Sri Lanka and volunteers should budget approximately AU$7 per week for 2 litres per day. There are also water filters in the volunteer houses. If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can discuss this with you. However, you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. The local team will do their best to see that you are well taken care of, but as a volunteer, there is a need to be flexible. If you wish to supplement some of your meals with home comforts, there are basic kitchen facilities available to use.


  • USD
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
1 week $380 Equivalent to $54/day
2 weeks $532 Equivalent to $38/day
3 weeks $724 Equivalent to $34/day
4 weeks $896 Equivalent to $32/day
5 weeks $1,068 Equivalent to $31/day
6 weeks $1,240 Equivalent to $30/day
8 weeks $1,584 Equivalent to $28/day
10 weeks $1,928 Equivalent to $28/day
12 weeks $2,272 Equivalent to $27/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately AU$522) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Sri Lanka generally find US$50 per week to be sufficient for expenses.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Airport pick-up
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • 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.

  • Return to the airport when your program finishes
  • Transport to and from your volunteer placement each day
  • Flights
  • Visa (if required), travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Personal spending money for snacks, laundry, public transportation, drinks and leisure activities during your free time.

Check what's required to visit Sri Lanka

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 Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte
Population 21.8 million
Languages Sinhala and Tamil
Currency Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
Time zone UTC+05:30

Weather and climate

The climate is tropical and warm, due to the moderating effects of ocean winds. Mean temperature ranges from 17°C (62.6°F) in the central highlands, where frost may occur for several days in the winter, to a maximum of 33 °C (91.4°F) in other low-altitude areas.

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How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
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Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
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