The Child Life Internship Program is a 16-week, 600-hour internship that provides individuals with the clinical and professional experiences needed to enter the field of child life. Under the supervision of a team of Certified Child Life Specialists, an intern will learn about all aspects of child life, including therapeutic play, procedural preparation and support, coping techniques, bereavement, and parental and sibling support. At the completion of the internship, an intern will be eligible to sit for the Child Life Council certification exam and will be prepared to practice as an entry-level child life specialist.
Internship Application Requirements and Deadlines
The following requirements must be met at time of application:
- Enrollment in or completion of a degree program (undergraduate or graduate) focused in the fields of child life, child development, family studies, human development, psychology or a related field working with children. Official transcripts are due at time of application. Please contact your registrar and have transcripts sent directly to us or include them with your application. We contract with colleges as well as individual learners.
- A minimum overall GPA of 3.0.
- Successful completion of a minimum of 10 college-level courses that meet the requirements of the Child Life Council. Applicants must submit their transcripts to the Child Life Council for an eligibility assessment. Official documentation from the Child Life Council regarding assessment results is required at time of application. Applicants with fewer than 10 accepted classes will not be considered for placement and the enrollment in future classes will not be counted toward the requirement. *
Additionally, the Child Life Program at YNHCH requires that a minimum of 5 courses meet the following criteria:
- One course must be an introductory child life course taught by a Certified Child Life Specialist. This course must be COMPLETED by the application deadline and verified by submitting a CLC Course Verification Form in your application packet. In order to satisfy the CLC’s definition of a child life course, the following six topics must be covered: Child Life Documents, scope of child life practice, impact of illness, injury and health care on patients and families, family-centered care, therapeutic play, and preparation.
- One course (in addition to the introductory child life course) must be related to child life practice. Some examples include: development of play, death and dying, learning and children, special needs, crisis intervention, or children and humor.
- At least one course in child development.
- One course on family systems/relationships.
- One course on diversity and cultural competence.
- A minimum of 200 hours of practicum, volunteer, or work experience. At least 100 of these hours must be a child life practicum experience in a hospital setting directly under the supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist. The remaining 100 hours must also represent experience with infants, children and/or families but does not necessarily have to take place in a healthcare setting. All 200 hours must be completed by the application deadline. Proof of practicum hours on hospital letterhead must accompany your application.
- Three original signed letters of recommendation submitted in sealed signed envelopes. Two letters should demonstrate work with children and families and one should demonstrate academic performance. Individuals who have directly observed you and/or your work should complete recommendations.
- NOTE: Candidates are required to be CPR certified at least one month prior to start of internship. The course must be the “Healthcare Provider” level and must cover infant and children. Proof of certification requested upon acceptance to internship program.
* Please refer to the Child Life Council’s internship candidate requirements for specifications and recommended course work.
Internship Application Deadlines
Application Deadline: Postmarked by March 15th
Offer Deadline: 1st Tuesday of May
Acceptance Deadline: Following Wednesday
Internship Start Date: Early September
Internship End Date: Mid-December
Application Deadline: Postmarked by September 5th
Offer Deadline: 2nd Tuesday of October
Acceptance Deadline: Following Wednesday
Internship Start Date: Mid-January
Internship End Date: End of April
To obtain a complete application packet, please contact:
Caitlin Leary MS CCLS CEIM/CIMI CPST
Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital
Child Life Program, SP 7-414
20 York Street
New Haven, CT 06510
**Email is the preferred method of correspondence. However, if you would rather speak to a member of the Internship Committee please call Victoria Isaacson at 203-688-5485.