Childcare Volunteer Program in Cambodia - Phnom Penh
Curious about Childcare volunteering in Cambodia? International Volunteer HQ’s Childcare project is based in early childhood centers in the city of Phnom Penh. These centers 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.
- Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
- Affordable fees from CA$581 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
This program is ideal for:
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
Childcare centers 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. Most placements have a focus on education and include classes on Khmer literacy and the English language. Topics such as morality, hygiene and Khmer traditions are also discussed with the children. Some placements arrange visits to the beach or local villages.
Day-to-day childcare volunteer work varies, but largely consists of:
- Preparing and serving food
- Arranging games and lessons
- Setting up activities, arts and crafts
- Talking, playing and singing with children
- Cleaning up
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
- 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.
Cambodia photo gallery
Recommended online TEFL course
We encourage volunteers on IVHQ’s Teaching and Childcare projects to come prepared by completing some relevant training, such as a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course. Although formal teaching qualifications are not required on these projects as volunteers are supported by local staff, taking a TEFL course enables you to gain more from the experience. Visit our Online TEFL Course page to learn how to gain an internationally recognized TEFL certification at a discounted rate.Get TEFL certified online
”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!” read more
Read reviews from Childcare volunteers in Phnom PenhSee more reviews
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 any time on the Sunday before orientation. After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Siem Reap International Airport (REP). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee.
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 traveling 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 socializing.
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
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.|
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.
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.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|2 weeks||CA$580 Equivalent to CA$42/day|
|3 weeks||CA$774 Equivalent to CA$37/day|
|4 weeks||CA$939 Equivalent to CA$34/day|
|5 weeks||CA$1104 Equivalent to CA$32/day|
|6 weeks||CA$1269 Equivalent to CA$30/day|
|8 weeks||CA$1599 Equivalent to CA$29/day|
|10 weeks||CA$1929 Equivalent to CA$28/day|
|12 weeks||CA$2252 Equivalent to CA$27/day|
|16 weeks||CA$2883 Equivalent to CA$26/day|
|20 weeks||CA$3514 Equivalent to CA$25/day|
|24 weeks||CA$4145 Equivalent to CA$25/day|
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Airport pick-up
- Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Certificate of International Volunteering
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of CA$429 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 CAD.
- 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
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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.
Protecting against COVID-19:
Volunteers tested for COVID-19 upon arrival
Health & safety information provided during orientation
Strict disinfecting standards for programs & accomodation
Greater physical distance between volunteers
Essential country information
|Currency||Cambodian Riel (KHR)|
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.