South Africa Childcare Volunteers
2-12 weeks from £379
- Live and volunteer in South Africa and gain a better insight into life in a small township
- Help provide valuable care to young children so their families can earn an income
- Teach the children new skills through play, to help prepare them for primary education
- Become a valued member of the local community
- Meet some inspiring people and make friends with volunteers from other local projects
- Discover Cape Town and beautiful South Africa in your downtime
If you’re searching for an experience that’ll leave a lasting impression on you and the people you share that experience with, then you’ve come to the right place. One of our most rewarding volunteer programmes, our South Africa Childcare Volunteers trip is a magical opportunity for you to make a real difference to a whole bunch of bright and enthusiastic children in South Africa’s Western Cape. You’ll get to work at Mamma’s Crèche, in Masiphumelele, near Cape Town, with the incredible team that educates and feeds almost 70 disadvantaged children to give them the best start in life, as well as providing care so that their parents can go out and earn a living. Just 45 minutes from Cape Town, Masiphumelele is a deprived area with many of its residents living below the poverty line. Having your help means the crèche can continue to provide a safe haven for local children, who also really benefit from the time and life skills volunteers can offer them. What’s more, is you’ll be living in the beautiful coastal town of Fish Hoek – perfectly located to do plenty of exploring.
Interested and want to find out more? Download more trip information and detailed itinerary HERE!
What to expect at the project
Arriving at Cape Town Airport on your programme start date, you’ll be met by one of our friendly team, who will take you to your volunteer accommodation in Fish Hoek (around a 45 minute drive). You’ll be given a full orientation of the local area, so you can find your way to all the local amenities. The team will also discuss what sort of thing you can expect from the project, dos and don’ts, and how to keep safe – this is also a good opportunity for you to ask any questions. Afterwards, you’ll have a traditional evening meal, with a bit of chill out time in the evening before your first day at the crèche.
From Monday to Friday, you’ll work at the crèche from 8:30am to 12:30pm, with the rest of the day and weekends to yourself – although if you’re happy to give more time to the crèche, do – the staff and children will really appreciate the extra help! As well as being bombarded with questions from inquisitive little minds, your day-to-day duties will consist of a range of activities, from assisting teachers, playing games, supervising the miniature playground, and reading and writing with the children. You’ll also help the staff with the general maintenance and organisation of the crèche,including things like painting, gardening, and cleaning. You may even get the chance to help with fundraising and day trips.
Day in the life
Our local team will take you to the project on your first day (after which you’ll make your own way to and from the crèche), so you know where you’re going and what you’ll be doing, as well as introduce you to the staff and children. Be prepared to have children instantly hanging from your limbs and engrossed in everything you say as they get to know you in their own way! Please note travel to and from the project is not included in the cost of your trip, so please budget 16R/98p per day for the bus.
You could be involved in a number of tasks on a day-to-day basis, from helping out in lessons, and playing games and planning activities that will help the children learn, reading stories and talking to the children to help develop their language skills, assisting with daily admin, or dishing out school meals, coming up with ideas to raise money, or organising and going on day trips with the children. Simply by spending time with the children, you’ll be offering them a chance to develop skills that could improve their future. The children at this project are happy, bright, and well looked after, but with limited resources, the crèche really needs more volunteers to help out.
You’ll finish your work at 12:30 each day, although if you’d like to spend more time with the children, your help is always welcome – the crèche is open from 6:30am-5:30pm. You’re free to spend your downtime as you like, so you might choose to get together with other volunteers from the house to explore the local area, or head over to Cape Town, chill out on the beach, hunt for a bargain in the markets, catch a flick at the cinema, or simply relax at the pool at the volunteer house. During weekends, why not do something a bit adventurous and go on a safari, take a heart-stopping dip in a shark cage, take a trek up Table Mountain, or get the adrenalin pumping with a tandem skydive, quad biking tour, or abseiling trip?
Purpose and aim of the programme and how do you benefit the programme
Mamma’s Crèche opened in 1994 to help provide care to children in the local community, so their parents could go out to work and earn an income while the children prepare for primary school education. It has since grown into a large childcare centre, which now provides day care to almost 70 children between the ages of three and six years old.
Volunteers are essential to the continuing success of this project and others like it, as time and resources are both limited. Extra pairs of hands are required all the time to give the children more of an opportunity for one-on-one time, which is really important to their development and future potential. By helping improve language and general life skills, taught through play and creative activities, you’ll be setting these children up with the tools they need for a good start to primary education, which will better prepare them for life and work outside of education when they are older.
This programme is a fantastic opportunity for anyone wanting to work with children to develop basic teaching skills in a short space of time, and get first-hand experience working with a lively group of young children. You’ll be providing valuable day care to the children in the local community of a deprived area, so their parents can earn a living,and be helping the children develop skills that will set them up for primary education. It’s really rewarding work, and you’ll feel like a much-loved member of the team as soon as you step through the crèche doors!
As well as leaving a lasting impression and having a fantastic impact on the children’s future, you’ll experience life in South Africa as a member of the local community, and get to explore this beautiful country in your own time.
- Airport transfer on arrival
- In-country orientation
- Local in-country team
- 24/7 emergency support
- Return airport transfer
- Local transport to and from the project (approx. 16R/98p per person per day)
You'll be staying in a fantastic volunteer house for the duration of your stay, where you’ll share a dorm-style room with up to five other volunteers (not all necessarily from the same project as you). The house has three bathrooms that include western-style toilets and hot water. There are also a number of communal areas including a comfortable lounge with sofas, large dining area, a balcony, and a garden area with BBQ and swimming pool. Wifi is also available, and is paid for upfront on arrival (100R/£6.5 per week). While in the house you will be responsible for keeping the place clean so please tidy up after yourself, especially in the kitchen.
Lockers are available so you can store valuables at the accommodation,but you’ll need to supply your own padlock and keys. There isn't a washing machine at the house but there is a laundry service close by, which costs around 50R/£3 per load. A supermarket, shops, and bank are all close to the volunteer house.
Please note that there is a security deposit that will need to be paid to the in-country team on arrival, so please make sure you have budgeted for this. The deposit needs to be paid in your local currency and needs to be the equivalent of 1,000R/£61.50. Your deposit will be returned when you leave the accommodation at the end of your project as long everything is left as you found it.
Meals aren’t included as part of your programme, apart from the evening meal on the first night, but there is a communal kitchen complete with cookers, lots of fridge space, microwave, toaster and other kitchen utensils for cooking, although you’re more than welcome to order takeaway instead!
Your flight to South Africa should arrive at Cape Town International Airport (CPT) on your programme start date before 4pm, to ensure you are all ready for your orientation which will begin at 5pm on your programme start date. Your return flight or onward travel can be arranged any time on the last day of your programme.
To arrange your flights, contact our fantastic flights team on 01892 277037 or email them at [email protected] They will be able to search for the best flight offers to your chosen destinations, so you can plan and organise your trip in one place. Just make sure you give them your full name, as stated in your passport, along with your chosen departure dates, return dates, and any other details you want to include.
It is important that once you have booked your flights you add these details to your online account or alternatively you can contact us with your departure date, the flight number and arrival time at your destination.
Minimum age 18, maximum dependent on health and fitness of participant.
Nationals of the EU, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand don't require a visa to enter South Africa, though South African Immigration does ask that you have two completely blank consecutive pages in your passport. As long as you hold a valid passport (and a valid return ticket) you will be granted a temporary visitor's permit on arrival, allowing visitors to stay in South Africa for up to three months (90 days). You should also ensure that your passport will still be in date for six months after your return.
DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service)
On this particular programme, as you’ll be working with children, you’ll need to undergo an enhanced DBS check and will need to have a clean criminal record.
DBS checks may list past convictions, cautions, reprimands, warnings, and if applicable will show whether or not you have been barred from working with certain vulnerable groups. Non-conviction information such as fixed penalties may also be included.
There is an additional cost for the DBS check, please speak to your travel advisor at the time of booking. The DBS process is in three stages:
- Once we receive your booking payment, you will then be sent an online application link for the DBS check, which you will need to complete.
- Once you have completed the application, the DBS will need verification of your identity – to do this you will need to take three original documents to your nearest crown post office and use their DBS and ID verification service. This costs approximately £5 and is payable directly to the Post Office.
- It can take up to two weeks for your DBS to be processed, which will be sent to you directly in the post.
How Old Are The Children At The Crèche?
The children are between the ages of three and six years old, and they range in skills and abilities but all of them are enthusiastic and keen to learn.
How Many Volunteers Will Be On This Programme?
There are no minimum numbers on this programme, and therefore you may find you’re the only volunteer from this programme staying in the volunteer accommodation, but you will be sharing the house with volunteers from other projects, so you’ll be able to spend your evenings and spare time with them.
How Much Spending Money Should I Bring With Me?
Cost of living varies in South Africa, but as a rough guide, budget around 80R/£5 per week for the bus to the volunteer project (16R/98p per day), 250R/£15.50 for a taxi into/from Cape Town (trains are far cheaper, but stop running after 7pm), 50R/£3 for each load of laundry, 600R/£37 for groceries each week, and between 100R-300R/£6-£18.50 for a meal out. Budget around £150 per week for a comfortable stay, and add a bit extra if you want to really explore and travel around during the weekends.
Do I Need To Bring Anything Specific With Me?
You’ll need to bring a towel with you as these aren’t provided at your volunteer accommodation, and pack a sleeping bag and warm clothing if you’re travelling to South Africa during winter months (May to September). If you can, bring bits along for the children – things like pens and coloured pencils, exercise books, educational posters/maps, stationery, simple story books or basic educational books, and educational toys and learning aids – you can always buy these sorts of things once you’re in Africa to save on luggage weight.
How Do I Get Back To The Airport On My Programme End Date?
The return transfer cost from Fish Hoek to Cape Town International isn’t covered within your project fee, but you can use our regular transfer company at a cost of approximately 350R/£21.50.