Child Life Services and Education

Your child's needs in the hospital are similar to those at home: He or she needs to feel secure, comforted, and able to understand what is going on. These needs are often magnified by the stress of illness and hospitalization. The Child Life program at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital provides emotional and psychosocial care to help make the hospital experience as manageable as possible for children and their family members. The Child Life staff includes accredited professionals who apply their child development expertise to help your child understand, cope with, and master his or her medical experiences.

Child life specialists can be found in many areas of our hospital. They recognize and address your child's reactions to the stresses of illness and medical procedures. They assess each child's and family's individual psychosocial needs and provide appropriate interventions. These interventions include, but are not limited to, preparations for tests and procedures, coping strategies, and diversions during procedures, as well as play activities to help normalize the environment.

Activities, such as playing with toys, arts and crafts, video games and computers, can take place either at your child's bedside or in our Child Life Centers, which are located on the Tower 4, 5, and 6 units. There is also a family lounge on each patient floor where you can use the computer to access the Internet, use a microwave to heat food, or just relax.

For more information about child life specialists and services, visit the Association of Child Life Professionals.

Child Life Centers

Three Child Life Centers are located on the inpatient floors in Towers 4, 5, and 6 of NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, where your child can play and interact with other patients. Playtime helps to normalize your child's environment and reduce stress. Staffed playroom hours are posted daily and enable you to take a break while your child is supervised at play.

The playrooms are supervised every day from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm and from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. You will need to supervise your child in the playroom when it is not staffed. Due to infection control policies, your child's' siblings and friends are not permitted in the playroom. For siblings ages 5 and older who plan to visit the hospital, we recommend Charna's Kids' Club as a place for them to enjoy therapeutic play activities.

School Program

If your child is in grades K through 12 and needs to be hospitalized, he or she can keep up with schoolwork through NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital's school program, which provides a teacher certified through the New York City Department of Education. Please speak to the hospital's school teacher for more information:

  • In Tower 4, call (212) 342-8522
  • In Tower 6, call (212) 342-8575

In addition to providing classroom or bedside instruction on site, the program maintains a close liaison with your child's school and helps arrange for remedial help or tutoring as needed. Teachers also help prepare and administer city- and state-required tests, including Regents exams, the SAT, and the GED exam.