Volunteers in South Africa assist with community maintenance work

Volunteer with children in South Africa with a group

Work with a group of volunteers in Cape Town and help local children learn through play

At a glance

  • Team up with like-minded people to help prepare kids for primary school.
  • You’ll work in daycare centres and preschools, focusing on building strong foundations for children’s education.
  • Help to improve their learning environments by doing something practical like painting a mural or planting a vegetable garden

Start Dates: 

Fixed dates throughout the year

See Dates

Minimum Duration: 

One Week


Anyone aged 18 or over can join

Is Childcare volunteering in South Africa for groups right for me?

If you’re eager to work with children and you want to work together with an international group of volunteers to support local communities, this project is an ideal fit for you. You’ll also have constant support from Projects Abroad staff. It’s one of our Team Trips, where we run a project on fixed dates so individuals from around the world can come together to form a group. It’s a great way to make a difference while meeting new people.

On this project, everything is organised for you from the moment you step off the plane. Your group will have a full schedule of volunteer work, activities in the evenings, and even a weekend trip to some of the renowned landmarks the city has to offer. You’ll work and sight-see together.

You don’t need any previous experience or qualifications to join. You'll work alongside local teachers and caregivers, and Projects Abroad staff are there to provide guidance and answer questions. You can also brainstorm ideas with your group.

Joining a project like this could help your future career. You’ll gain childcare experience, and the project will give you interesting points to talk about in applications and interviews. You’ll also develop personal skills, like communication and working with people from different countries and cultures.

This is a fixed-date trip that runs at specific times during the year. You can choose the dates that best fit your schedule.

Volunteers in South Africa prepare for a local community day

What will I do on this project?

In South Africa, your group will support local teachers and caregivers at a daycare centre or kindergarten. Here’s what you can expect to do:

  • Promote early childhood development through educational activities
  • Encourage children to practice good hygiene everyday
  • Participate in renovation work to improve learning environments
  • Get to know the South African culture and way of life
  • Meet like-minded volunteers from all over the world

Your work will be divided into five main areas:

Promote early childhood development

Your main role will be to support the work of local teachers and caregivers who focus on early childhood development.  Through games and educational activities, you’ll help with their physical, social, and cognitive development. The skills they learn, like improving hand-eye coordination, will help them cope with the demands of formal schooling.  

Help improve literacy and numeracy

You will also work towards improving literacy and numeracy. Reading, writing, and counting are essential skills that everyone needs in life. By focusing on these skills at a young age, we can give children a head start for when they start school.

Encourage children to practice good hygiene everyday

You will also focus on encouraging children to practice good basic hygiene. Poor hygiene is the cause of many illnesses and diseases. By getting children to practice good hygiene everyday, we can reduce the rate of infection and improve the overall health of the community.

Assist with community work

In South Africa, you’ll help with community work. You can put a fresh coat of paint on a classroom, assist at a local soup kitchen, or help clean or maintain homes.

By doing this kind of work as a group, you’ll be able to accomplish a great deal in the short time you’re in Cape Town.

Explore South Africa with a group of people your age

You’ll also get to explore and experience life in Cape Town accompanied by a group. When you’re not working, you’ll have plenty of social and cultural events and activities to keep you busy. You’ll also have constant support and guidance, as Projects Abroad staff will accompany you throughout your stay. We’ll also take you on a trip over the weekend.

Where will I be working in South Africa?

Cape Town

You’ll be based in Cape Town where you’ll work in the local community and at a care centre. We partner with several care centres in Cape Town, and focus our efforts in disadvantaged townships. The townships are deeply affected by unemployment and poverty, and there is very little infrastructure. Most care centres are understaffed, overcrowded, and need extra pairs of helping hands.

When you are not working, you will be able to explore Cape Town with your group. This beautiful city is surrounded by mountains, with sprawling white beaches and numerous nature reserves. There is also a rich history to explore through museums, art and architecture, as well as countless outdoor activities to take part in.

Airport pickup, flights and visas

When you arrive at your respective airport, a member of Projects Abroad staff will be there to meet you. You can find more detailed information on arrival airports, orientation, and visas on our South Africa Arrival Procedures page.

What are the aims and impact of this project?

The aim of this project is bring a group of likeminded people together to assist teachers and caregivers in improving early childhood development and education in South Africa.  

In Cape Town, the care centres we work with have limited resources and staff. They need extra support to make sure that each child learns the skills they need to thrive when they start school. Your group will become part of our ongoing efforts to help local teachers and caregivers do this. Each member of your team will be a welcome pair of helping hands. You’ll work together with local staff to improve early childhood development, literacy, and numeracy.

Your group will also help improve the learning environment. You’ll do this by adding a fresh coat of paint or colourful mural to a classroom wall, or build a vegetable garden.

And our secondary aim is to encourage the exchange of cultures, knowledge, and skills between members of your group and local people.

Join our Childcare & Community Work Team Trip in South Africa, and be part of our efforts to support disadvantaged children and their communities.

Volunteer in South Africa sits with children during a lesson

Management plans

We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.

Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.

Measuring our impact

Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.

Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.

Food and accommodation

You'll stay with a host family in Cape Town. They will welcome you into their home, eager to share their customs and have you teach them about your own culture. We believe that this is the best way to immerse yourself in the culture of South Africa and have a truly unique experience.

We will always try to let you live alongside at least one other Projects Abroad volunteer or intern at the same host family. Your room will be modest, but comfortable, clean, and safe.

Your programme fee includes three meals a day.

Find out more about our accommodation.

Safety and staff support

Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.

Find out more about safety and backup.

This placement is fully researched, safety audited, and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.

We currently don’t have any available dates for this project. Contact us on 01273 007 230 to discuss future dates or alternative projects.

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