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Childcare Volunteer Project in South Africa - Cape Town

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.

Highlights:
  • 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

'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.

Key information

Provide a safe space for children to learn
Based in childcare centers in Cape Town
Volunteer house accommodation
Volunteers aged 18+ and families
Fully hosted experience from $275 for 1 week
Durations from 1 - 24 weeks
Visit the famed Table Mountain
Up to 4 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

Enthusiastic volunteers who are interested in caring for and teaching young children. As you will be working alongside local placement staff, you aren’t required to have childcare or teaching experience to participate on this project.
Who is this program suited to?

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:

  • Teaching
  • 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
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 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

Volunteer requirements

  • 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

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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

LF
Laura Francois-Eugene
06 Dec 2023

I know I had an impact on the children I worked with. I wish I could have remained for 6 months or longer. The teachers were great and they encouraged the volunteers to lead the class. The local team had an on-site staff member available 24/7 in the event of an emergency. Any questions I had a staff member was able to answer immediately or they looked up the information and quickly got back to me. If someone is truly interested in making an impact they will enjoy the kids, teachers and staff. The experience was definitely rewarding.

...
EN
Emily Nirens
06 Dec 2023

This trip was honestly once in a lifetime type of trip. I was super nervous, but knew that I wanted to be apart of something more. The friends I made on this trip will honestly be friends for life. I can’t explain how we all connected so quickly after just one afternoon. But I can say how grateful I am for them. Pushing my outside my comfort zone- going shark cage diving & zip lining. Something I never would of considered back home.

The local team were incredible and I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher to support me. They were super friendly and supportive, from teaching me how to dance as a local to just being a great teacher to the kids. They’ve got a pretty amazing community and I feel very blessed to be able to say I was apart of it!

So my advice to you, go in with an open mindset and no zero expectations. No matter how worried or hesitant you are, I can guarantee this will be a life long experience that you will never forget.

...
AA
Anna Amato
07 Nov 2023

I recommend IVHQ to everyone that talks to me about wanting to take a gap year! My trip was unforgettable. I met so many wonderful people and had such a close bond with the kids in the Childcare project. The volunteer house was so close and connected. This made living a month away from home feel so comfortable. I recommend trying all the activities in the region with the people you meet in the house! We all bonded throughout the tours and safaris. I still keep in contact with the girls I met from volunteering!

...
MC
Magdalene Chua
30 Oct 2023

My volunteering experience in South Africa has been incredibly enriching. Firstly, I had the opportunity to immerse myself in different cultures, histories, and communities, which broadened my perspective and made me more open and accepting. Through volunteering, I also contemplated how education and policies can impact the next generation. It taught me to be grateful for the life I have because many people don't have the opportunity to travel abroad and volunteer in another country.

Additionally, I was deeply impressed by the natural beauty of South Africa. The scenery with its mountains and coastlines is truly breathtaking.

For those who may be hesitant about joining a program like this, I would advise them to open their hearts and embrace new experiences. Volunteering abroad takes you out of your comfort zone and allows you to experience a different way of life. Even if you're traveling alone, don't be afraid or feel lonely, as it's an opportunity to learn about solo travel. You'll meet like-minded friends along the way. While there may be challenges and cultural differences, these experiences will enrich your life and help you grow.

Before participating in the program, it's a good idea to prepare well. Most importantly, maintain a positive attitude, be willing to listen and learn, and this will make your volunteer work more meaningful and impactful.

...
CS
Chelsea Stromfeld
18 Jul 2023

I can't say too much without bursting into tears, but this experience expanded my heart, affirmed my belief in the power of positivity, and solidified my sense of self more than I could have imagined. I carry my experiences and all that I saw and felt with me every day, and I'm so grateful for every second of the profoundly impactful journey.

I'd say there was always a voice in my head telling me that I was meant to volunteer. I'm so glad I listened. I would tell anyone to prioritize their life goals and listen to their intuition. Have an open heart, lean into the volunteering and all the holistic views and insights you can gain by really leaning into the process and the beautiful people you are exposed to. But also, keep yourself HEALTHY because without health, we really don't have anything. I wish I could've stayed longer, you are entirely up to you, so be you, to the fullest.

...
KC
Kelli Cooke
11 May 2023

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 children 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.

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

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

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!

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Volunteer Abroad in Cape Town, South Africa with IVHQ

Location

The IVHQ South Africa volunteer program is based in Muizenberg, a beautiful, small coastal town with excellent surfing. It is about a 30 minute drive from the Cape Town City, and up to 15 minutes from volunteer placements located in the Philippi, Steenberg, Capricorn, and Grassy Park townships.

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. If your start date falls on a public holiday, your orientation will begin on the day following the public holiday.

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 and checkout is on Saturday.

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, 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

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 would be as follows:

07:00 AM Breakfast at the volunteer house.
8:00 AM Volunteers leave home and travel to their placements.
12:30 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.
5:00 - 9:00 PM Dinner is available at the volunteer house.

Weekends

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.

Accommodation and WiFi

All volunteers are accommodated in a large two-storey dormitory style volunteer house with capacity for around 40 volunteers, with rooms separated by gender. It is a 7 bedroom house that comfortably sleeps 6 people per room. The rooms on the second floor lead out to a balcony that overlooks the village. The house has 6 bathrooms, a TV lounge, a dining area and a volunteer kitchen.

The beach, convenient stores, ATMs, restaurants etc. are all in walking distance from the house. Bedrooms have single beds and bunk beds with bedding provided. The house is clean and well looked after, and living is comfortable.

The accommodation is safe and secure with the volunteer house located in Muizenberg, a safe suburb near the communities where volunteers work. Muizenberg is a very historical part of Cape Town and the house you will be living in for the duration of your stay is about 150 years old.

The volunteer house has electricity and running water with Western toilets, but you’ll need to bring your own towel and toiletries. During the Winter (June through August) Cape Town can get quite cold and it’s recommended to bring an extra blanket.

The volunteer house has unlimited Wifi 5G with a very good connection.

Meals

Volunteers in South Africa receive three meals a day, Monday through Friday. Breakfast will also be available on weekends. 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.

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
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
  • 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.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in South Africa generally find US$50-75 per week to be sufficient for expenses.
  • Meals
  • Airport pick-up
  • Transport to and from your placement
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • 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.

  • Return to the airport when your program finishes
  • 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 South Africa

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 Pretoria (Executive), Bloemfontein (Judicial), Cape Town (Legislative)
Population 58.6 million
Languages Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Swati, Tswana
Currency South African Rand (ZAR)
Time zone UTC+02:00

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).

Other projects you may be interested in

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
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