Early Childhood Development in Cape Town, South Africa

Quick Facts

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town International Airport

Every Second Monday

10 days - 12 weeks

Impact: Childcare

$1495 – $4695

Visit one of the world’s most beautiful cities and share your passion for children and love of teaching on this Early Childhood Development Project. As a volunteer, you will work in Cape Town’s underprivileged townships, educating and caring for vulnerable children in foster care homes and pre-schools. By supporting this initiative, you are making a positive, long-term impact on children who otherwise would not get the chance to access a quality and inclusive education. 

Experience the real, un-cut Cape Town as a responsible traveler and volunteer daily in the township communities surrounding the city. Give children the opportunity to access one-to-one educational opportunities that would otherwise not exist in severely over-crowded and under-funded facilities. Through structured early learning development plans, support an emergency foster care home that takes in abused, neglected and orphaned children. Work alongside local teachers at community pre-schools, empowering them to be better able to educate the children in their care. Become a positive role model at after-school care programs that provide a safe and engaging environment that aims to keep vulnerable children off the street.

Read about The Top 8 Reasons to Volunteer in Cape Town.

Project Highlights

Experience the real, un-cut Cape Town as a responsible traveler and volunteer daily in the township communities surrounding the city

Give children the opportunity to access one-to-one educational opportunities that would otherwise not exist in severely over-crowded and under-funded facilities

Through structured early learning development plans, support an emergency foster care home that takes in abused, neglected and orphaned children

Work alongside local teachers at community pre-schools, empowering them to be better able to educate the children in their care

Become a positive role model at after-school care programs that provide a safe and engaging environment that aims to keep vulnerable children off the street

See for yourself why Cape Town has been named the Most Beautiful City in the World for the past 5 years

Take advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime activities this city has to offer, including cage-diving with Great white sharks, whale watching, visiting Nelson Mandela’s prison cell, or snorkeling with seals

The Destination

Cape Town is officially one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Framed between oceans and mountains, it’s surrounded by incredible natural beauty, with Table Mountain, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, an absolute highlight. Cape Town is also a place of huge diversity, lively cultures, and a vibrant nightlife. Living here is dynamic and interesting, and weekends will give you a huge variety of exciting activities.

You can, for instance, venture to the top of Table Mountain, go paragliding, take to the ocean by kayak, hang out on some of the many beaches, sip wine at stunning vineyards, head out on safari, enjoy some Africa’s finest restaurants and even take to the skies on a helicopter flight over the city. For those more interested in exploring South Africa’s culture, how about visiting the historic Robben Island, or taking a free walking tour through the city to learn about Apartheid?

You will live in a spacious guesthouse in the centre of town, with views towards Lion’s Head and just a few minutes from trendy Kloof street. From here, the main sights of Table Mountain, V&A Waterfront and Company’s Gardens are within easy reach. Accommodation is dorm-style with shared bathroom facilities and social areas. Our team on site will be happy to help you in anyway during your stay with us.

Three delicious meals a day, cooked by chefs from the local community (weekdays only)

At the guesthouse there is free WiFi to enable you to make contact with home through WhatsApp, Zoom etc. It is also easy to purchase a sim and add data credit to allow you to use your own phone to stay in touch.

Cape Town has a Mediterranean-style climate: wet and cool winters, dry and warm summers. The annual average temperature in Cape Town is a delightful 17 degrees celsius. During the months of March, April, May, October, November, and December you are most likely to experience good weather with average temperatures that fall between 20 degrees Celsius (68°F) and 25 degrees Celsius (77°F).

The months of June, July, and August have a high chance of rain. Cape Town has dry periods in January, February, November, and December. The warmest month is January with an average maximum temperature of 26°C (78°F). The coldest month is August with an average maximum temperature of 17°C (62°F).

Project Impact Areas

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PRE-SCHOOL TEACHING

We partner with pre-schools caring for children between the ages of 6 months and 7 years. These schools offer children from disadvantaged backgrounds an invaluable head start to their education and future, with a specific emphasis on helping them to prepare for their next step to primary school.

Unfortunately, understaffed and lacking in essential resources, these schools struggle to meet the needs of the children. Volunteers help the classes come alive, assisting teachers with lesson planning and making real progress for the next step to enter school. 

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FOSTER CARE HOME SUPPORT

The foster care home where our volunteer work was established to care for abandoned and orphaned children aged between 0 and 8 years in Khayelitsha and the surrounding areas. This region has been hugely affected by HIV, so much so that over 40% of the children admitted to the care home are HIV+.

A volunteer’s role is to help implement a fun plan of activities to help the children with their basic development needs, which will enable them to grow and learn. The program works mainly with younger children (0 – 3 years) and covers developmental areas such as social play, gross motor skills, language, numeracy, and rhythm.

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LIFE-SKILLS PROGRAM

Throughout the week, a couple of afternoons are spent at a foster care center for children from various challenging backgrounds. These children live in a network of small family units, with a dedicated foster mother or father and no more than 6 children per household. The aim of the organization is to one day return the children to their biological families, or failing that, with the help of those families and our volunteers, help them lead happy successful lives.

Volunteers work regularly with approximately 15-20 children and teenagers, helping them develop life skills that will further their development and improve their chances of completing their education.

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EDUCATION AND ENRICHMENT

At an after-school care program set up to provide a safe space for children in the vulnerable hours after school finishes, volunteers help to plan and implement fun and educational games. These always have an emphasis on developing important life skills, such as teamwork and leadership.

Volunteers rotate through activities, so may also be involved in providing homework support, craft-making, gardening, or holding a reading session. Your input and ideas are always welcomed as new inspiration, so this is the perfect place to share any unique skills you have.

Recent Reviews

Frequently Asked Questions

When volunteering in a pre-school setting with young children, responsible volunteer and childcare practices are non-negotiable. However, it can be tough to discern if a volunteer organization is indeed running childcare projects responsibly. There, unfortunately, exists a large gap between the most and least responsible childcare volunteer projects, and it is critical to do your research before joining any project that works with children.

Any responsible pre-school or childcare project should:
– Have clear Child Protection Policies and require criminal record checks for volunteers before they join a project
– Work only in reputable childcare settings that put the safety and wellbeing of children first
– Always have local, experienced on-ground staff present to ensure safe interactions between volunteers and children

At African Impact, we pride ourselves on being industry leaders in providing responsible, sustainable, and ethical volunteer projects. We will never compromise on the livelihoods and safety of children in local African communities and are firm in ensuring this is always the top priority of staff and volunteers at childcare projects. We encourage you to research our policies, ask the right questions, get to know us and discover if we are the right volunteer organization for you.

Our Early Childhood Development project operates in Cape Town, South Africa. Together with our local African Impact staff, volunteers will spend most of their time working in reputable childcare settings in low-income and township areas in or just outside of Cape Town. Volunteers will stay in a comfortable and spacious guesthouse in the city centre.

Joining an African Impact volunteer project is a great way to support child development in Africa responsibly. Here’s how you can volunteer with us:

– Read through our project page – we want you to feel confident you are making the right decision volunteering with us; our project page is a great place to gain information on this unique project.
– Review our stance on Responsible Volunteering and Childcare Policies
– Contact us: if you have any questions or inquires about our project, we’d love to chat with you!

Choose your dates and apply! If you decide that we are the right project and organization for you, you can scroll to the bottom of this page to choose your dates and apply. We cannot wait for you to join us.

Other Activities

You can hike up the magnificent Table Mountain or take the cable car to the top. Once you’ve soaked in the breath-taking view, you can choose to abseil your way down. Surfing lessons, shark cage diving, and skydiving are also on many tourists’ “bucket lists”, and Cape Town’s mountain ranges make for great mountain-biking too.

BEACH, OCEAN AND WILDLIFE ADVENTURES Although the water may be just a little cold, Cape Town has plenty of beautiful beaches to visit, each with its own unique atmosphere. If you are keen to explore the waters, you can dive with the sharks or take a tour to Cape Point Peninsula where you will have a chance to swim with the penguins at Boulders Beach.

Cape Town has something for everyone. If you’re not really a city slicker and prefer to discover what nature has to offer, you can experience an African Safari at Aquila Safari – a “Big 5” private game reserve with animals such as the springbok, lion, cape porcupine, olive baboon, leopard, and African elephant.

The Cape Point at the tip of the Cape Peninsula lies within a nature reserve within the Table Mountain National Park which is a World Heritage Site. Cape Point is a nature enthusiast’s paradise with many buck, baboons, Cape Mountain Zebras, birds, and a variety of flora and fauna unique to the area.

Cape Town has many iconic sites that make for great photograph opportunities. Take a boat trip to Seal Island, visit the celebrated Robben Island and of stand on top of the world-renowned Table Mountain, reaching it either by foot or cable car. A convenient and fun way to see more of what the city has to offer is to take the Hop-on, Hop-off City Tour bus. You will also have a chance to do some shopping and enjoy fine dining at the V&A Waterfront or at one of the many local food markets.

The famous surfer’s town of Muizenberg, where the volunteer house is based, has a buzzing main street with coffee shops, bars and restaurants, as well as a beautiful beach just a few minutes away. The house is comfortable and a great social gathering place for volunteers and interns – there is always something on the go. It also provides a relaxing environment should you just wish to unwind with a good book or movie in the evenings.

Apply Now

Once you have submitted your application, a Destination Specialist will be in-touch to discuss the project with you.

Step 1
Select your Start Date
23 Jan 2023 6 Feb 2023 20 Feb 2023 6 Mar 2023 20 Mar 2023 3 Apr 2023 17 Apr 2023 1 May 2023 15 May 2023 29 May 2023 12 Jun 2023 26 Jun 2023 10 Jul 2023 24 Jul 2023 7 Aug 2023 21 Aug 2023 4 Sep 2023 18 Sep 2023 2 Oct 2023 16 Oct 2023 30 Oct 2023 13 Nov 2023 27 Nov 2023 4 Dec 2023

STEP 2

Select your Duration
10 days $1495
2 weeks $1695
3 weeks $1995
4 weeks $2295
5 weeks $2595
6 weeks $2895
7 weeks $3195
8 weeks $3495
9 weeks $3795
10 weeks $4095
11 weeks $4395
12 weeks $4695

Project Fee Includes

  • Comfortable shared accommodation                      
  • 3 delicious meals a day cooked by chefs from the local community (weekdays only)                                                                         
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off by the African Impact team                                                                                          
  • Experienced international and local staff members who live and work alongside you every day                                                                      
  • A full induction, orientation and training session to ensure you can contribute sustainably                                                                                                        
  • WiFi                                                                                                                         
  • All necessary project equipment and resources you’ll need on the ground

Project Fee Excludes

  • Flights                                                                                
  • Medical or travel insurance                                                                     
  • Visa-related costs                                                          
  • Weekend trips or tours, or any other non-project activity                                                                         
  • Snacks, soft drinks, gifts or souvenirs                                
  • Laundry                                                                     
  • Mandatory contribution of US$25 that is donated to the African Impact Sustainability Fund