Childcare Volunteer Project in South Africa - Cape Town
Full of energy and want to be a Childcare volunteer in South Africa? International Volunteer HQ’s Childcare project is a great opportunity for volunteers to assist with early childhood education in low-income areas of Cape Town. Volunteers gain childcare experience while helping local teachers at a large childcare center provide high quality care and education to children from nearby farms, villages and communities.
- Programs start on the first and third Monday of each month
- Affordable fees from $275 for 1 week
- Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
Care for and nuture young children in disadvantaged areas
Explore South Africa’s diverse and beautiful landscapes
Stay in a volunteer house in a safe and peaceful area of Cape Town
This program is ideal for:
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
Many South African children grow up with limited access to education, with only 17 out of every 100 children having the opportunity to attend some form of early childhood schooling.
Volunteers help make it easier for low-income families to give their children this important opportunity for a good start in life by assisting in a large childcare center that works closely with the local education department and aims to provide high quality care and education to children from disadvantaged areas.
As a Childcare volunteer you will play a dynamic role in enriching the lives of these children and assist with a wide range of tasks within the center. This can include:
- Caring for children
- Planning and designing lessons
- Arranging games and activities
- Assisting with feeding and cleaning up after meals
- Helping with general duties to assist with the day to day running of the center
Why do Childcare volunteering in Cape Town with IVHQ?
When you volunteer with children in South Africa you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Improving early childhood education for disadvantaged families
- Helping children learn and grown in a safe place
- Developing your communication skills
- Gaining childcare experience
- Immersing yourself in South African culture
- Exploring South Africa’s incredible wildlife
- Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program, and may be asked to provide additional documentation 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
- 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.Apply For Free
Not sure which program to join?
South Africa photo gallery
Academic course credit
Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!Learn about course credit
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
”My methodology for learning and teaching has always been to try to listen deeply, understand and reflect. My experience volunteering in childcare in South Africa has solidified this systemic method so profoundly. From the moment I met the children, their smiles warmed my heart and their voices created clarity that inspired each and every relationship. The ch...ildren demonstrated emotional intelligence, competence and understanding by enthusiastically participating and focusing on age-appropriate tasks with great confidence. As I reflect on my experience, I realize that I know myself better than I ever have in my life. Reflection helped me connect to the intrinsic good feelings that result from this character-building experience. I will forever be humbled and will always have each and every child imprinted in my heart. Thanks so much for this beautiful life experience! Definitely open your mind and heart because this experience will be more than you could ever imagine.” read more
Read reviews from Childcare volunteers in Cape TownSee more reviews
The IVHQ South Africa volunteer program is based in Muizenberg, a beautiful, small coastal town with excellent surfing. It is about 30 to 40 minutes from the city of Cape Town, and 20 to 30 minutes from volunteer placements located in the Philippi, Steenberg and Grassy Park communities.
South Africa is known for its natural beauty, wildlife, sporting prowess, and diversity of culture and ethinic groups. It’s turbulent socio-political history is also well known, and is important to learn about in order to gain insight and understanding of the country’s people, culture and attitudes. There are many places where you can do this in Cape Town and the surrounding areas.
The IVHQ South Africa program is one of our longest running volunteer programs and has the aim of delivering positive outcomes in communities throughout the area by placing volunteers on a wide range of impactful projects. There is a focus on animal welfare as well as supporting children and young people who have had a challenging start to life because of exposure to drugs, alcohol or physical abuse.
Arrival and orientation
The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of each month and volunteers need to arrive in Cape Town on the day before orientation. After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Cape Town International Airport (CPT). 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 transported to the volunteer accommodation in Muizenberg. Your accommodation is covered by your program fee and includes the night before your program orientation.
If you are traveling in South Africa prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up within the Cape Town CBD area on the day before your program orientation.
Orientation is taken by our South Africa team in Muizenberg, Cape Town. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in South Africa – an introduction to South Africa, South African customs, language training details, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities in South Africa, and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and make plans for weekend travel and socializing. Once your orientation is complete you will take a trip into Cape Town before returning to your volunteer accommodation.
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.
Work and hours are dependent on the project and placement that each volunteer is working at. A typical volunteer day would be as follows:
|7:00 AM||Breakfast at the volunteer house.|
|8:00 - 8:30 AM||Volunteers leave home and travel to their placements.|
|12:00 - 2:00 PM||Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel back to the volunteer house for lunch, go sightseeing, or do some shopping.|
|7:00 PM||Dinner at the volunteer house.|
On the weekends, volunteers have spare time to relax or take the opportunity to explore Cape Town or other areas in South Africa. See unusual wildlife like antelope and penguins, visit the spot where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, paraglide off a rock high above the city, visit a local vineyard, or watch the sun sink into the Atlantic ocean with a glass of the region’s finest wine in your hand. Long weekends can be taken if volunteers wish to go on safari, bungy jump, or travel to places further afield, such as the Garden Route or Stellenbosch.
Looking for more ideas of things to do in South Africa? Check out our South Africa Travel & Tours page!
Accommodation and WiFi
All volunteers are accommodated in a dormitory style volunteer house, with rooms separated by gender. You can expect to share a room with one to five other volunteers. Bedrooms have single beds and bunk beds with bedding provided.
The accommodation is safe and secure with the volunteer house located in a safe suburb near the communities where volunteers work. Living is comfortable with a vending machine for snacks and a television.
The volunteer house has electricity and running water with Western toilets, but you’ll need to bring your own towel and toiletries.
The volunteer houses have Wifi. Data is limited so volunteers will not be able to download or stream TV shows/movies.
Volunteers in South Africa receive three meals a day, Monday through Friday. Meals served in the volunteer house are typically Western-style and can be high in carbohydrates.
Breakfast consists of self-serve tea, coffee, toast and cereal. For lunch volunteers will be provided with supplies to make their own sandwiches, and dinner consists of dishes containing meat, vegetables and a starch, such as potatoes, bread or pasta.
It is not possible to drink the tap water in South Africa, however, bottled water is readily available in South Africa, and you should budget approximately $5 (approximately $5) per week for 2 liters a day.
If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can make arrangements for you. However, we need to stress the point that you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. We will do our best to see that you are well taken care of, but also as a volunteer, there is a need to be flexible.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|1 week||$275 Equivalent to $39/day|
|2 weeks||$445 Equivalent to $32/day|
|3 weeks||$615 Equivalent to $29/day|
|4 weeks||$785 Equivalent to $28/day|
|5 weeks||$955 Equivalent to $27/day|
|6 weeks||$1,125 Equivalent to $27/day|
|8 weeks||$1,465 Equivalent to $26/day|
|10 weeks||$1,805 Equivalent to $26/day|
|12 weeks||$2,145 Equivalent to $26/day|
|16 weeks||$2,825 Equivalent to $25/day|
|20 weeks||$3,505 Equivalent to $25/day|
|24 weeks||$4,185 Equivalent to $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 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 $329) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers in South Africa generally find US$50-75 per week to be sufficient for expenses.
Check what's required to visit South Africa
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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.
Essential country information
|Capital||Pretoria (Executive), Bloemfontein (Judicial), Cape Town (Legislative)|
|Languages||Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Swati, Tswana|
|Currency||South African Rand (ZAR)|
Weather and climate
The subtropical location, moderated by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans on three sides of the country and the altitude of the central plateau, are responsible for the warm temperatures typical of South Africa. Across much of the country, summer (December to February) is characterized by hot, sunny weather with temperatures averaging around 25°C (77°F). Winter (May to September) is cooler and drier with evening temperatures averaging around 10 °C (50°F). In Cape Town, sporadic showers and chilly winds are common during the winter months, but with daytime temperatures can average around 15°C (59°F).