In my opinion, Placencia is paradise for young kids. Placid, tepid, clear water surround a pint-sized hamlet that is easily navigated on foot or by bicycle. Days can be spent climbing coconut trees, casting hand lines off a dock, and wading in to turtle grass to examine mollusks and sea stars. A pick-up game of basketball, soccer, or beach volleyball can nearly always be found. I’ve written before about free and cheap kid’s activities, keeping a kid busy in Belize, and even kid’s camp at Turtle Inn. Now there are 3 fresh and exciting offerings in the village for children. In no particular order, here they are:
Coastal Education Center
What it is
Operating now as a tutoring center but will soon be licensed and accredited as a primary school. Offering preschool through Standard Six (I believe this is the equivalent to North America’s grade eight), assistance with HS curriculum (students choose their own online HS programs and complete the course work at the center where help is given as needed), and one-on-one tutoring outside of regular school hours.
Occupying the old Atlantic Bank offices in the bottom floor of the Halcyon Building just next to Top Value. Coastal is comprised of a lobby, 4 air conditioned (what luxury!) classrooms, a kitchenette, boys and girls bathrooms, and mini offices… with room to expand next door!
Flexible hours but typically 8:30-3:15. High School curriculum students may need to start earlier than that and will be accommodated as such. After school tutoring as well as adult learning sessions will be held on Saturdays or in late afternoon and evening hours.
Monthly tuition is $450bzd for standard schooling and $225bzd for the HS kids that procure their own curriculum. Tutoring sessions can be purchased piecemeal or in little punch card packages– sounds like a great gift idea to me!
BelizEasy Kids Center
What it is
Daycare, before and after school care. Enrollment can be monthly or weekly or you can use it as a drop-in center for daily or hourly childcare as needed. For children age 2-12
Located on the main road in the cabana that housed the Bernice York Institute last year, BelizEasy Kid’s Center in neighbor to Humana clothing shop and catty corner to Brewed Awakenings Coffee.
Open 6:45- 5:30 Monday through Friday
$7 or less per hour- Very affordable pricing structure
It Takes a Village Youth Center
What it is
The mission of this NGO is to provide a safe and inclusive space for children to drop in and hang out. Their slogan: Educate, Empower, and Equip kids to live their best lives.
In addition to the standard arts and crafts type activities, It Takes a Village also focuses on teaching life skills, morality, providing a trusted forum for questions and answers, mentoring, and encouraging kids to grow in to roles as community leaders. There is a strong human services aspect to the center and kids can find advocacy or connection to resources they may need (ex: counseling, tutoring, obtaining food or school supplies). It Takes a Village would be happy to host presentations, events, or take volunteers with special skills that could be taught or transferred to the center’s children.
Downstairs of BJ’s Belizean Belly Full; between Oh Suga candy shop and Excellent Chinese Restaurant.
After school, 3:30-5:30, every day. Teen night (ages 11-17) 7-9 Fridays. Monthly family days TBA. Holidays and Special Events- follow their Facebook page
This is the best part……FREE!!!!!!!!