Resident Child Caregiver

founded in 1990
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Coordinator | Sue
Coordinator | Sue
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.
A program for those who want a hands on, heart-filled experience caring for vulnerable babies and children. Join our team of hardworking, fun-loving Mamas! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
TLC was started by the Jarvis family in 1993 in response to the cruelties of the Apartheid regime against South Africa's newborn and abandoned babies. More than 25 years later and with the help of over 1000 volunteers through the years, TLC has cared for more than 900 babies. We have a legacy of providing South Africa's most vulnerable children with a safe, happy, family environment until they are placed with their forever families.

Located on a sizable farm in the south of Johannesburg, TLC has a hand full of farm animals as well as a veggie patch. We also contribute to the local informal community through the sharing of our resources, including the hands of volunteers where possible. As a family project, many of our founder's 24 children (both adopted and biological) work and live at TLC in an endeavor to create a better future for every little one that comes through our doors. It has taken many hands to create our legacy and it will continue to need more!

Typical day

TLC is a place full of things to do!

Your duties for a typical day will usually start quite early from around 6am and will include a variety of duties from hands on childcare duties in a specific section (our sections are divided by ages) which include bathing and grooming, nappy changes, feeding, playing, cuddling and playing; dispensing of medication to babies; helping with the bottle/food-prep; or cleaning chores. You will usually have a few hours of break throughout the day and complete your duties for the day at about 7pm. 

Night shift is a duty that everyone needs to perform and lasts for one week, once a month at most. This can be a tough transition especially mentally and physically. You are given a day and a half off after night-shift for your body to recover.

Duties will depend on the number of hands we have available to help on a specific day. First we make sure that the most important duties are met which would mainly be in the nursery. If there are extra hands about, there are plenty of other duties that need to be done in our TLC community.

Duties include but are not limited to:
• Caring for, stimulating the development of, bathing and administering basic medication to our babies. 
• Helping, supporting and encouraging each other.
• Washing, sanitizing and disinfecting the various nursery rooms, including the kitchen and bathroom.
• Washing and sorting laundry.

Working in the Nursery
Working with babies, toddlers, children, teenagers and even adults will test your patience … Come with a lot in stock!! The work at TLC is physically, emotionally and mentally challenging!

Volunteers work 6 days a week, 9 - 13 hour days with at most one week of night-shift every month. The work is physical and can be emotionally draining so it is vitally important to eat well and sleep properly! Try to keep stocked up with vitamins and keep late nights to a minimum.

Schedules are made so that each volunteer knows where he / she will be working and at what time. This ensures that all duties are performed not just the fun ones. ☺

The day after you arrive at TLC you will usually start your training. You will be shown ins and outs of each section; how to bath, change and feed babies and so on. If you only arrived in the late afternoon or early evening then your training will start the day after the next.

When babies are ill, you will be advised as to what precautions to take if any. Most of the time the best precaution is to simply wash your hands often! Others require more precautions.

Free-time activities

All Free Time Activities are at the discretion of the individual. Unfortunately TLC Children's Home is unable to contribute towards any paid activities. While we do try to arrange transportation as far as possible this is usually only to places that are on our existing daily routes. 

A few on-site activities we do have available, at no fee of course, are swimming (in the summer months), a basket ball hoop (Balls is subject to availability), a trail around our farm that many volunteers enjoy jogging around, and a fully stocked scrap-booking room where we encourage our volunteers to make memory pages for the babies and children they care for. 

Going to the mall for shopping or movies is the main off-site past-time for our volunteers as well as hiking at our local nature reserve, as these are on our daily routes. However, being so closely located to Johannesburg there are an abundance of activities for our volunteers to explore on their days off; from sightseeing, hiking, concerts, safaris and zoos, museums/opera. Johannesburg has a lot to offer. 



In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Criminal Background Check
Required Documents
Personal Particulars, Essay Questions, Personality Profile and 3 Tesitimonials
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Although not a outright requirement it is of great value for our volunteers to have some childcare experience as well as familiarity with children's songs and rhymes.

Patience, Acceptance, Understanding, Creativity and Versatility are all valuable skills when working in our environment.

Unfortunately, TLC can't accommodate male volunteers at the moment.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 07:00 - 19:00

What's Included

Airport Pickup at O.R. Tambo International Airport

We are about a 45 minute drive to OR Tambo International airport and will happily collect volunteers from the airport upon arrival, as well as provide transport to the airport upon departure. When you arrive at OR Tambo you will be welcomed by a TLC representative holding a sign with your name and TLC Children's Home Logo on it.

Our Volunteer Applications Manager, Sue Nancarrow will have prearranged all the details with you ahead of arrival. 

We have a specially dedicated volunteer compound with 3 cottages. 2 of the cottages are for volunteer accommodation while the one is occupied by our volunteer manager, Jade Freedam and her family. She will be your host while staying at TLC.

Each cottage sleeps 8 people, 2 per room. Each cottage has 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen and lounge. We supply your bedding; you need to bring your own towel and clothes, and we have an onsite laundry facility. There are shops for you to buy toiletries at; however I do suggest that you bring a week’s supply with you, as the shops are not within walking distance.

Communal life and sharing your space can be both fun and exhausting. Please remember to treat others as you would want them to treat you. Clean up after yourself; respect their belongings; be quiet and considerate of people sleeping. Boys and girls are not allowed in each others bedrooms under any circumstances!! If you smoke that’s ok but it is illegal in South Africa to smoke inside buildings and vehicles or in the vicinity of babies and small children. Please be respectful about your smoking and pick up your cigarette butts.

Similarly you may not consume alcohol around the babies or ANY children under the age of 18 and especially no drinking alcohol while on duty. Overindulgence in alcohol will not be tolerated nor will use of illegal substances. This is the law in South Africa and you will be asked to go home if you cannot be responsible. In South Africa the legal drinking age is 18, if you come from a country where the legal drinking age is 21 don’t get too excited! While you will be allowed to drink here according to our laws please monitor your enthusiasm. ☺
Youth Hostel
Food & Beverages

All our volunteers are offered 3 meals a day at TLC, which are served in the main house. 
We also do our best to provide basic groceries for the individual cottages such as bread, milk, sugar, etc.

Furthermore, we ask all volunteers to be aware that meat makes up a significant part of the South African diet at TLC. Although we do try to accommodate vegetarian diets as best we can the onus is ultimately on the individual to provide their own food when they have dietary restrictions. 

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. We assist you to find cheap flights to South Africa.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for South Africa provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in South Africa you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for South Africa.

Dates & Fees

Details on arrival

We do not have specific arrival dates for our volunteers. We are about a 45 minute drive from OR Tambo International Airport and are happy to collect volunteers upon arrival and drop-off for departure.

When you arrive at OR Tambo you will be welcomed by a TLC representative holding a sign with your name and
TLC Children's Home written on it. However, our Volunteer Applications Manager, Sue Nancarrow, will provide all the details necessary in preparation of your arrival.

Unfortunately, TLC can't accommodate male volunteers at the moment.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
24 - 50 weeks

Why book with Volunteer World

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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
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We refund your fees if TLC Children's Home cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by TLC Children's Home.

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Resident Child Caregiver

A program for those who want a hands on, heart-filled experience caring for vulnerable babies and children. Join our team of hardworking, fun-loving Mamas!

Free of charge


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