At a glance
- Volunteer with children in Sri Lanka and focus on early childhood development. You’ll gain practical childcare experience, and develop your planning and teamwork skills.
- Work in kindergartens, day cares and community centres, plus support local staff with their daily duties.
- You’ll stay with a local host family which will aid your immersion into the local culture. Find out what it’s like to live in this land of beautiful beaches, flavourful food, and friendly people!
16 or over
Is childcare volunteering in Sri Lanka right for me?
If you’re enthusiastic and energetic, and enjoy working with children, this project is a perfect fit for you.
Thinking about a career involving childcare work or teaching? This project is a great way to gain experience and learn from local caregivers.You’ll also learn about early childhood development and put it into practice at your placement.
There are no requirements in order to join this project. Upon arrival, you’ll receive a comprehensive induction which will introduce you to everything you need to know. Your role is to support the local caregivers and teachers, who will guide you for the duration of your placement. Projects Abroad staff are also available 24/7 and check in with all our volunteers regularly.
You’ll have access to a resource database stocked with ideas for different activities and educational games. Furthermore, we also organise regular workshops with our Childcare and Teaching volunteers. You can share advice and learn more about early childcare in Sri Lanka.
Childcare volunteering in Sri Lanka runs year-round and you can join at any time. We encourage you to stay as long as possible, so you can have a bigger impact on the children.
What will I do on this project?
Childcare Projects have a wide scope for you to get involved. Here are just some of the activities you can do as a volunteer working with children in Sri Lanka:
- Promote early childhood development through fun activities
- Provide specialised care to children with special needs
- Create educational resources for learning
Your work will focus on the following areas:
Promote early childhood development through fun activities
Help children master basic educational skills such as counting and the alphabet. This forms the basis of their future learning and will ensure that they are prepared for formal schooling. You can really be creative, finding ways to teach through games, songs, dance, or art.
Provide care to children with special needs
Children with special needs often require additional support so that they can learn basic skills and reach developmental milestones. You’ll provide them with individual attention; playing games, teaching them to do certain tasks, and simply interacting. You might also need to assist with more practical needs, such as getting children ready for the day.
Create educational resources for learning
Make visual aids that can be used for lessons and games, such as flashcards, alphabet cards, and more. These handmade resources are ideal as they can still be used at the placement after you’ve left.
Where in Sri Lanka will I work?
You will be based in one of several small coastal towns situated within two hours of Colombo. Sri Lanka has an extensive and affordable public transport network, so it is easy to get around.
You have a wide variety of placement options to choose from, such as kindergartens, special needs schools, day care centres, and community centres. The conditions vary between them. Some are quite basic.
The country is famous for its natural wonders, so do take advantage during your time off. Visit a wildlife sanctuary, relax on the beach, or take a hike through the lush green surroundings.
A typical day volunteering with children in Sri Lanka
A standard work day will run from 8.30am - 5pm, Monday to Friday. There will be a morning session from 8.30am - 11.30am, where you’ll work at one of our partner placements. The afternoon session, from 3pm -5pm, will be spent with older children.
You can choose to work at a kindergarten, day care centre, special needs school, or a community centre. Consequently, your daily activities will vary according to which placement you choose.
Children at day care centres and community centres usually still attend school in the morning. As a result, you’ll spend your morning volunteering at a school. In the afternoon, you’ll help with homework, organise physical activities, and work with children who need extra assistance with things like reading.
Once you’re done for the day, the evening is yours. Spend time socialising with your fellow volunteers while reminiscing about your day. Explore the nearby attractions or simply relax back at home getting to know your host family.
What are the aims and impact of this childcare project?
The main aim of this project is to promote and invest in early childhood development.
The early childhood years are the most crucial development stage in one's life, forming the foundation for your future learning, wellbeing, and success. Preschools in disadvantaged communities are often overcrowded and understaffed. This means that children do not receive the level of attention and stimulation that they need.
You provide children with the support and interaction they need to thrive. By tracking their progress through our database, we can immediately identify areas where a child is struggling. You’ll then work with them to improve their skills, so that they are better prepared for school.
Projects Abroad has elected not to work with children in orphanages in Sri Lanka, but rather focus on community-based programmes that allow children to remain within their families. To promote the education and development of these children, we have identified three major goals to guide our work:
- Improve children’s English
- Increase literacy
- Improve the quality of life for those living with disabilities
Join us in Sri Lanka and contribute to positive, long-term change in the lives of local children.
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 Sri Lanka. 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 Sri Lanka 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.
Leisure activities and free time
Sri Lanka is well-known for its diverse landscapes. From beaches to tropical jungles, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant country.
The buzzing Pettah Market is a must-see. You can chat to friendly vendors, buy handmade products, and enjoy the electric atmosphere around you. For cultural enrichment, you can spend an afternoon in the National Museum of Colombo. The Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple is also a highlight, with its vast collection of artefacts.
The town of Galle is a sea port with a strong Dutch heritage and plenty of old colonial buildings to explore. You can also venture inland to hike in the hills, swim in the cool waterfalls, and visit traditional hill towns.
Sri Lanka's national parks include safari parks where you can spot wildlife like leopards and elephants. Or spend an early morning bird-watching in one of the wetland sanctuaries. There are also rainforest reserves crammed full of tropical biodiversity.
You’ll be sharing this unique experience with many other volunteers. This means you can travel solo or spend your free time with the friends you make during your trip.
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.
Meet the team in Sri Lanka
Not quite what you’re looking for?
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