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 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. Experience working with children in a hospital setting is not a requirement, though; typically these experiences will make an applicant more competitive. Practicums are offered three times a year with two students participating in a session.

Practicum Calendar

Practicum Calendar


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


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


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

How to Apply

A completed application consists of:

  • Child Life Services Practicum Application
  • Resume
  • Unofficial transcripts from each college or university attended
  • Two or three completed recommendation forms - please contact us for a link to the form
  • Forms must be completed by a professor, supervisor, manager, or someone who has observed you working with children
Contact Information

Contact Information

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

Kate Guilfoyle, CCLS
Child Life Specialist
Department of Family Services