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Child Life Services Internship Program

Our internship is an intensive, clinically based program which meets the child life certification requirements regarding clinical experience. Our full-time program is designed for senior and graduate level students from the fields of child life, child development, early childhood education or other related fields of study which include a strong child development emphasis. Individuals not affiliated with a university or college but who hold at least a bachelor’s degree in one of the above listed fields are also encouraged to apply. Selection of interns is based on previous experience working with children, completion and recommendation from a child life practicum program, completion of 10 Child Life related courses, interview and references.

A Child Life Practicum with a minimum of 120 hours must be completed by the time of the application deadline is required in order to be applicable for this internship. Internships are offered twice a year with two interns participating in each session. Currently, our program does not offer a summer session. Please visit the ACLP website for more information about application deadlines and offer dates.

Upon being accepted to the program, all students must be cleared through a background investigation which is arranged and paid for by the hospital. Students must meet our Occupational Health requirements which include completion of our medical form by your private physician and up-to-date immunizations.

Our internship is an intensive, clinically based program which requires 40 hours per week. Because of the requirements of this internship, it is strongly recommended that interns not attempt to carry additional academic or job obligations. Our program meets the child life certification requirements for an internship.

Each intern is assigned to a certified child life specialist who will provide ongoing clinical supervision. Internship experiences include:

  • Two clinical rotations
  • Seminars directly related to child life
  • Patient/family care interventions
  • Charting
  • Visits to local child life programs
  • Weekly individual formal supervisory meetings
  • Weekly group supervisory wrap-up sessions

After applications are reviewed and interviews are conducted, selections are made by the internship committee. Acceptance into the program is based on capacity and qualifications of applicants.

There is a $60 non-refundable commitment internship fee. Housing, meals, transportation, parking, three textbooks and additional materials or book expenses to support the learning process are the responsibility of the intern.

A completed application includes the following:

  • We require the completion of the Children’s National Hospital application form
    • Students may also submit the ACLP common application in addition to the Children’s National Hospital form. However, we will not accept the ACLP common application by itself.

Please email the following items to the Child Life office:

  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  • Unofficial transcripts from each college or university attended verifying a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • ACLP Course Review
    • Successful completion and documentation of ten core curriculum classes, including a course taught by a CCLS as approved by the Association of Child Life Professionals Eligibility Assessment/Course Review
      *Please note we do not accept any requirement that is In-Progress. *
  • Proof of Child Life Practicum Placement
    • The evaluation tool/form(s) from a CCLS supervisor of Child Life practicum experience that was utilized to evaluate the student’s performance during the Child Life Practicum training
      * Please note we do not accept any requirement that is In-Progress. *
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • Our program requires three letters of recommendation.
    • Each letter of recommendation should be written on letterhead and must be signed, scanned, and emailed directly from the reference to our office 
      • One letter must be from the practicum coordinator or another CCLS who has directly observed your work with children in the health care setting
      • Students may submit the ACLP common application recommendation forms in addition to their letters of recommendation. However, we will not accept the ACLP common application recommendation form by itself
    • A short video clip (2 minutes or less) explaining why you want to complete your internship at Children’s National Hospital and what makes you the ideal candidate

Contact Information

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

Alicia Field, CCLS
Child Life Specialist
Department of Family Services
202-476-3352

Erin Stanford, CCLS
Certified Child Life Specialist
Department of Child Life & Integrative Care Services
202-476-1555