Volunteer with children in Costa Rica and work at a kindergarten, care centre or special education centre. Here, you’ll plan and run educational activities that support early childhood development. This way, you’ll become part of our ongoing efforts to support children in Costa Rica.
The centres and kindergartens we work with are often overcrowded and understaffed. Teachers are unable to provide individualised attention for each child, so struggling students fall behind. You’ll act as an extra pair of helping hands for local teachers and caregivers. With your help, the children who are struggling will be able to learn in smaller groups. You can also help support disabled children at a special needs centre, or help at a centre for the elderly.
While in Costa Rica, you’ll live in the gorgeous city of Heredia with a local host family. They’ll introduce you to this so-called ‘city of flowers’ and can give you advice on the best places to visit during your stay.
Children aged 3-14 must be accompanied by at least one adult paying full price
We offer discounts for families and groups of friends travelling together. Call us on 1 877 921 9666 for more info.
When you apply you only pay $295, which comes off the total price.
Looking to do more than one project? Call us on 1 877 921 9666 to see if we can offer a discount.
Completely flexible dates
Anyone aged over 16 can join
You will need to speak basic Spanish to work with children with special needs.
What's included in the price?
Food (three meals a day)
Travel and medical insurance
Airport pick-up and drop-off
Full induction and orientation by an experienced staff member on arrival
Transport to and from your work placement
In-country support and 24-hour back-up from our team of full-time local staff
Emergency assistance from our international emergency response team
Project equipment and materials, including access to our database with thousands of resources
Training and workshops from our experienced local staff
Regular social events and community activities with other volunteers and interns
Access to our local office with internet connection
Certification of project completion
Access to our alumni services and discounts
Visa support and advice
Fundraising support, including your own personalized fundraising website
Pre-departure preparation by your own specialist Volunteer Advisor
Personalized MyProjectsAbroad website, with all the information you need about your project, accommodation and destination
A free cultural awareness course
Membership to our volunteer social media groups, to share information and to get in touch
Support to help you complete registration or internship documents, if applicable
What's not included?
Visa costs (where applicable)
What will I do on the Childcare Project in Costa Rica?
Your primary role will be to provide additional support to the local teachers and caregivers at kindergartens and care centres. Here are a few things you can expect to do during your time there:
- Focus on basic education
- Plan fun activities that teach the children basic development skills
- Assist with important day-to-day practical tasks to help run the centres more smoothly
- Work with disabled or special-needs children in a special education centre, or volunteer at a centre for the elderly
Your volunteer childcare work in Costa Rica will focus on the following areas:
Increase literacy and numeracy
Reading, writing, and counting are essential skills. You’ll help children learn these skills, so they’re better equipped to cope with the demands of the first year when they start school. You’ll focus on those who are struggling by teaching literacy and numeracy to small groups.
Contribute to early childhood development
Fun activities that teach children basic skills are a fundamental aspect of a child’s development. By making your lessons entertaining, you’ll keep the children engaged in what they’re learning.
You’ll help the teachers and caregivers organise:
- Physical activities that encourage teamwork and the development of fundamental movement skills (like catching, throwing, and balance)
- Music lessons that encourage creativity
- Arts and crafts that teach the children about colours and shapes, and how to use their imagination
Assist with day-to-day care centre tasks
You’ll often be asked to assist the local staff with day-to-day duties such as serving food, washing up, and cleaning. This is essential to the daily running of the care centres.
Alternatively work with special needs children or with the elderly
Apart from working with younger children at care centres, you can be placed at a special needs centre. Here, you’ll help care for babies, children, and young adults with disabilities such as Down's Syndrome. You’ll provide much-needed support to the staff.
At the centre for the elderly, members are aged between about 65 and 90 years old. They really appreciate the company of our volunteers. They enjoy activities such as light physical exercise, card games and bingo, and arts and crafts. You may also be asked to help out with fundraising events and administrative and maintenance tasks from time to time. If requested, you might even be able to assist in the centre’s physiotherapy sessions.
Where will I work in Costa Rica?
Childcare volunteer work in Costa Rica happens in and around the city of Heredia. Heredia is just 10km from northern San Jose at the foothills of the extinct Brava Volcano.
One of Costa Rica’s most historical cities, Heredia was founded in 1705. It’s renowned for the many beautiful gardens and wonderful flora found around here. Located in central Costa Rica amidst vast coffee plantations and lush greenery, the city has a well developed tourist industry. However, poverty is a challenge many people face. There is always a need for extra assistance at local care centres, many of which lack resources.
If you’re interested in working with special-needs children or the elderly, there are also various suitable placements. Many of these placements are basic and understaffed. This means that the children often don’t receive the individual support they need.
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.
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