South America Inside

Work in a Day Care Center

San Jose , Costa Rica show on map
founded in 2003
Coordinator | Sergio
Coordinator | Sergio
Do you love working with children? Help out at a day care center where you can organize activities and be a positive influence for children from low-income families. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:

The Project

In Costa Rica, low-income families are very prevalent. This means that both parents often have to work fulltime in order to support their family. As a volunteer, you will take care of children at day care centers while their parents are at work and help create home-like atmosphere that fosters growth and development. Typically, the day care centers are filled with children in the surrounding areas from different backgrounds, ranging from low to middle class. What families are charged depends on household income. The children’s ages vary from 6 months to 12 years old. 

One of the major goals of the day care centers is to keep kids away from the streets, drugs, gangs, alcohol, and prostitution. The centers provide the children with care, education, snacks, and meals. They also specialize in certain topics, such as nutrition and other types of education. 

The day care centers are situated in and around San Jose, which is the capital of Costa Rica. The centers can be reached by bus if they are not within walking distance. The day care centers vary in size, ranging from very small groups of children to groups with over 100 children. The children are split up into both age groups and personal development groups according to their individual needs. 

The children are given classes to help with their education in addition to taking part in recreational activities and meals. Some specialized centers also offer therapy sessions.


Your Tasks

When working with the children, you will be seen as a role model, something that comes with a lot of responsibility. You should be very creative, spontaneous, and patient on a day-to-day basis.  

Your work may include the following tasks:

  • Organizing games and activities
  • Playing with the children outdoors
  • Doing handcrafts, painting, building, creating
  • Playing group games or with single children
  • Helping out with the daily operational tasks of the centers
  • Providing warm and caring attention to the children
  • Help to feed and wash younger children
  • Assist in napping the small children
  • Monitor and supervise the children 

On a day-to-day basis, you will be expected to organize and play games with the children. In addition, you will have to be creative when building and creating various objects with the children. You will also be expected to help with daily operational tasks, such as painting a wall or bathing and feeding small children. 

In some centers, especially for children in pre-school, tasks may include teaching arts and crafts and other classes, such as English. You may also be asked to prepare materials for lessons.


Volunteers are encouraged to bring any of their own skills and creativity when working with the children as well as new ideas that could help create a fun environment. 

Free-time activities

San Jose offers various activities, such as sports and concerts, in and around the city. There is a vibrant city life and many restaurants and bars to try. On the weekends you can take trips to the stunning National Parks and beaches throughout Costa Rica!


Program Requirements

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 Spanish (basic level) and English (basic level)
Education Requirements
at High school level
Required Documents
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 - 16:00

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if South America Inside cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by South America Inside.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
South America Inside (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by South America Inside
  1. Single room in homestay
  2. Half-board (breakfast, dinner)
  3. Airport pick-up
  4. Orientation session upon arrival
  5. Consulation by our experienced staff
  6. Translation of your application documents
  7. Placement in Volunteer Work Project
  8. 24/7 emergency number
  9. Certificate of participation
Airport Pickup at Juan Santamaria International Airport

Yes, our local staff will pick you up from the airport and take you to the host family's home.


As a volunteer with a host family, you will have your own single room and share living areas and bathrooms with the family. This is a great way to improve your Spanish skills and indulge in the culture of Costa Rica. The accommodation in a local homestay also includes half-board (breakfast + dinner).

Guest Family Bedroom (Single)
Food & Beverages

Half-board is provided by the host family, which includes breakfast and dinner.

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 Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose. We assist you to find cheap flights to Costa Rica.
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 Costa Rica provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Costa Rica you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Costa Rica.
Costs: Prices in USD
4 weeks (min. stay)
$ 1,160
5 weeks
$ 1,335
6 weeks
$ 1,510
7 weeks
$ 1,685
8 weeks
$ 1,860
24 weeks (max. stay)
$ 4,660
Average fees
$ 242 /week

You can volunteer at the project site in San Jose /Costa Rica between 4 weeks and 24 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. South America Inside will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Costa Rica.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with South America Inside during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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The project site is open in: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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