Child Life Services Practicum Program

Children's National offers a Child Life Practicum Program to individuals who are interested in becoming a certified child life specialist with academic training in the fields of child life, child development, early childhood education, psychology, and other related disciplines. Our program accepts both current students and college graduates.

This program provides students with an opportunity to work with children and adolescents in a health care setting. Students help facilitate the normal growth and development of pediatric patients through the provision of supervised, age-appropriate play opportunities. Students support patient adjustment to hospitalization through the implementation of adaptive play techniques and the maintenance of a safe and therapeutic play environment.

Selection of practicum students is based on previous experience working with children, academics, interview, and references. Hospital volunteer hours are required in order to be considered for the practicum program, and other experiences working with children are highly recommended (e.g. experiences with well children in a variety of settings, at camps for children with chronic illnesses, or with non-profit organizations that provide support to children and their families). Applicants must also have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in order to qualify.

Practicums are offered three times a year with two students participating in a session.

Practicum Calendar

Practicum Calendar


  • Application Deadline - October 1
  • Acceptance Date - November 1


  • Application Deadline - March 1
  • Acceptance Date - April 1


  • Application Deadline - June 1
  • Acceptance Date - July 1
How to Apply

How to Apply

Please email all application components to no later than the deadlines listed above.

A completed application consists of:

  • Child Life Services Practicum Application
  • Resume
  • Unofficial transcripts from each college or university attended
  • Two or three completed recommendation letters
    • Recommendations should be written on letterhead (if applicable) and must be signed, scanned, and emailed directly from the recommender to
    • Recommendations must be completed by a professor, supervisor, manager, or other individual who has observed you working with children
  • A short video clip (2 minutes or less) explaining why you want to complete your practicum at Children’s National and why you are the ideal candidate
Contact Information

Contact Information

If you have any questions, please contact us by phone or e-mail:

Kate Guilfoyle, CCLS
Child Life Specialist

Katie Webb, CCLS
Child Life Specialist