Children play on the swings under the supervision of a volunteer working with children in Costa Rica

Volunteer with Children in Costa Rica

Live in central America and prepare children for school by teaching important early childhood development skills

At a glance

  • Help with our ongoing efforts to support childhood development in Costa Rica
  • Volunteer with children in kindergartens or care centers
  • Support students who are falling behind in class due to overcrowded and understaffed learning facilities
  • Live in the gorgeous city of Heredia with a local host family

Start Dates: 


See Dates

Minimum Duration: 

Two Weeks


17 or over
You will need to speak basic Spanish to work with children with special needs.

Is volunteer work with children in Costa Rica right for me?

If you have loads of energy and enjoy the antics of little ones, Childcare in Costa Rica is perfect for you. You’ll support our early childhood development goals, which will give you practical childcare experience. This is especially useful if you’re planning on working professionally with children in the future. 

If you have no experience in childcare, no problem. You’ll be supporting the work of local teachers and caregivers. Projects Abroad staff members will also be close at hand to help you. Throughout your stay, our staff will host regular workshops to help you. You’ll also have access to our database filled with educational resources like games and arts and crafts.

This project runs all year round, so you can choose when you would like to join. We recommend staying as long as you can so you can make a bigger impact on the project.

Volunteer opportunities include reading books with children in Costa Rica

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 centers.

In Costa Rica, you will:

  • Focus on basic education
  • Plan fun activities that teach the children basic development skills
  • Assist with important day-to-day practical tasks to ensure the centers run smoothly

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 organize:

  • 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 center 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 centers.

Where will I work in Costa Rica?


Childcare volunteer work in Costa Rica happens in and around the city of Heredia. Heredia is just 11km from San José 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.

Airport pickup, flights and visas costa rica

When volunteering in Costa Rica, you will be met at the airport by a Projects Abroad staff member. You can find more detailed information on flights, arrival airports, orientation, and visas, on our Costa Rica Arrival Procedures page.

A typical day as a Childcare volunteer in Costa Rica

Your day will start with a traditional Costa Rican breakfast, enjoyed with your local host family. After this, you’ll catch a bus to the placement where you’ll be working. On your first day, our staff will accompany you on your work commute. They’ll ensure you’re comfortable and know your way around.

A typical day will run from about 7 or 8 am to 5 pm, coinciding with kindergarten and daycare center hours.

The aim of each day is to contribute to the development of young children that will help them succeed in the school system. You’ll do this through:

  • Reading and roleplay activities that teach basic English
  • Counting games that teach basic addition and subtraction
  • Sports that improve kids’ balance and other fundamental movement skills
  • Arts, crafts, or music lessons that enhance creativity and imaginative thinking

Evenings and weekends are your free time to relax and explore with new friends. You can easily reach the impressive Poas and Irazu volcanoes on a day trip from Heredia. Elsewhere, numerous popular tourist destinations, such as Arenal volcano and Monteverde cloud forest, are only a few hours bus ride away.

You’ll also never be too far from the coast in Costa Rica. Spoilt for choice by the number of idyllic beaches, you'll have plenty of opportunities for water-based activities like surfing, swimming, snorkeling, or scuba diving. The laid-back life of Costa Rica is infectious and you’ll find it hard to leave!

Volunteers and the children play with colourful balls as part of their Childcare volunteer work in Costa Rica

What are the aims and impact of this project?

The aim of this project is to improve early childhood development in disadvantaged communities in and around Heredia. We do this by helping local teachers and caregivers offer young children a well-rounded educational experience.

In Costa Rica, kindergartens and care centers are often overcrowded. This means local teachers and caregivers struggle to divide their attention equally. Because of this, certain children are not able to get the extra support they need.

We’re working to change this with the help of volunteers like you. To guide our work, we’ve identified five sustainable, long-term goals that you’ll work towards:

  • Promote early childhood development
  • Increase literacy
  • Increase numeracy
  • Raise awareness about healthy living, the environment, and family planning
  • Improve the quality of life for those living with disabilities

Help us achieve these long-term goals by working as a Childcare volunteer in Costa Rica.

A Projects Abroad volunteer with children in Costa Rica, helps a young boy with his balance

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 Heredia. 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 Costa Rica 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 program fee includes three meals a day.

Find out more about our accommodation.

Leisure activities and free time

With more than 25% of its land protected in national parks, Costa Rica is a nature lover’s paradise. It has everything from volcanoes to tropical rainforests, and magnificent waterfalls to beautiful sandy beaches. This tiny country is also renowned for its biodiversity and boasts an array of wildlife.

Our projects are based in Heredia, a laid-back city just 11km north of the capital, San José. Known as the City of Flowers, you'll be surrounded by idyllic gardens.

You're never far from the coast in Costa Rica. Spoiled for choice by the number of pristine beaches, you'll have plenty of opportunities for water-based activities like surfing, swimming, or scuba diving.

There will likely be other volunteers in Costa Rica with you. So you can choose to explore on your own or as a group.

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.

Meet the team in Costa Rica

When you apply you only pay a $295 deposit, which comes off the total program fees.

Please choose a Duration and Start Date to continue.

Enquire Now

Fields marked with * are compulsory!

Our accreditations