Child Life internship information

The child life internship program provides intense working experience in child life. We place an emphasis on candidates with a strong academic background in child development.

Required academic background

Candidates need to be a senior in college or have completed a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Suggested majors (may include but are not exclusive to):

  • Child life
  • Child development
  • Human growth and development
  • Child psychology

Required experience

The student must have:

  • Supervised involvement with healthy children (minimum of 100 hours)
  • Supervised involvement with children in the healthcare setting as a volunteer (minimum of 100 hours)
  • Solid understanding of child development through coursework and experience
  • Completion of child life coursework inclusive of the ACLP required 6 applied areas of study
  • Completed the academic course work portion of the ACLP eligibility assessment

Expectations of the student

The student will need to:

  • Commit to one full semester (16 weeks), 40 hours/week
  • Have a flexible schedule, including some weekends and evenings
  • Provide the clinical internship coordinator with a list of expectations and requirements from the university
  • Maintain contact with university supervisor
  • Complete required readings, weekly journal, final case study or project, and other assignments

Child life department responsibilities

We will provide:

  • A child life supervisor who will communicate with the student’s university supervisor
  • Weekly supervision meetings
  • Exposure to a variety of ages and diagnostic groups
  • A multi-disciplinary setting
  • Flexibility to tailor internship experience to student’s needs and interests
  • Normalizing and therapeutically-oriented interactions with patients and families
  • Opportunities for continuing education
  • Recommendations

Child life internship opportunities

Here is a list of potential opportunities for a child life intern. These are in addition to the basic internship requirements.

  • Child life professional development in-services
  • Child life case study discussions
  • In-hospital educational inservices
  • Care conferences on individual patients
  • Site visits to other child life departments
  • School visits
  • Informational interviews with other multidisciplinary team members
  • Participation in support groups and/or dialogue with staff who facilitate them
  • Exposure to hospital-wide committees and family-centered care programs
  • Participation in production of closed-circuit TV show “Kids Clubhouse”
  • Engagement with the Youth Advisory Council at the hospital

We strongly suggest:

  • Students do not have an outside job during this internship
  • Applicants contact the Association for Child Life Professionals to gain more information about the child life profession


We work with children and adolescents to minimize the stress children can feel during hospital stays and other health care visits.

A Children's care team in a group discussion



Children’s will be a national leader in advancing the health of children, innovating and delivering family- centered care of exceptional quality.