Skip to main content Skip to navigation
We care about your privacy. Read about your rights and how we protect your data. Get Details

COVID-19 Update:Learn where you can get your child vaccinated, as well as other important facts about COVID-19.

Child Life Services Practicum Program

Children's National Hospital (CNH) offers a Child Life Practicum Program to individuals who are interested in becoming a certified child life specialist (CCLS) with academic training in the fields of child life, child development, early childhood education, psychology or another related discipline. The program accepts both current students and college graduates. Please note that if you are seeking course credit from the completion of this practicum, an affiliation agreement must be established and signed by both CNH and your university/institution.

The Child Life Practicum Program at CNH 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, references and an interview. Hospital volunteer hours (under the direct supervision of a CCLS) 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 (fall, winter/spring and summer). Please note that currently we are only able to accept one practicum student per session due to COVID-19 restrictions.