Child Life Services and Education

Child Life Services Internship Program

Thank you for your interest in the Child Life internship program of the NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital. The goal of our internship program is to offer Child Life interns a wide range of learning opportunities through which to develop clinical skills. It is during this internship experience, students will engage in enriching and thought provoking learning opportunities, which link theory to actual “hands-on” practices with children, youth and families. This internship program will help clinically prepare students in skills that can be applied to any setting as a child life specialist. We offer the framework and support necessary for interns to build independence in developing treatment plans thorough assessments, providing appropriate interventions, and creating unique programming for children and families. In addition, interns increase their skills and focus their learning through curriculum focus readings, seminars and relevant assignments.

Child Life Services of the NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital is in alignment with the standards, philosophy, and mission of the ACLP including the Standards for Academic and Clinical Preparation. Our students are an integral part of our services for pediatric patients and their families and we are committed to the professional growth and development of future child life specialists.

Program Goals

Interns through their placement in Child Life Services will:

  • Develop child life clinical skills though hands-on experience and supervision in inpatient and/or outpatient areas.
  • Incorporate play, emotional support, healthcare education and family involvement to enhance the social, emotional, developmental, intellectual and physical well-being of infants, children, adolescents and families in the healthcare setting.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the profession of Child Life.
  • Enhance their practices in interactions with children, youth, and families.
  • Explore developmental theories and have the opportunity to link theoretical frameworks to child life interventions and practices.
  • Increase their knowledge of common pediatric diagnoses and medical terminology.
  • Increase their knowledge of recommended practices for children, youth and families from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds.
  • Participate in multidisciplinary meetings, special events, support groups and supervision of volunteers.
  • Enhance their critical thinking skills through reflections, thought provoking assignments, journaling, seminars, as well as weekly supervision.
  • Strengthen confidence to function independently as a child life professional
  • Develop an appreciation for Music Therapy, with potential for co-treatment and referral opportunities


Interns will begin their experience with a one-week general orientation, followed by 2 six week clinical placements, 2 three week placements, and 1 one week placement of choice. Placement areas for interns include but are not limited to General Pediatrics, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Pediatric Emergency Department, Pediatric Unit for Procedures and Sedation (PUPS), Burn Unit, Pediatric Radiology, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, and outpatient General Pediatrics. Availability of placements will vary each semester. Regardless of the rotations, each intern will be supervised throughout the entirety of their internship by a certified Child Life Specialist meeting the standards set forth by the ACLP.


Are start/end dates flexible?
Start/end dates depend on several variables, including hospital orientation dates and the length of the student experience. *Please note this is a one semester internship offered ONLY from August-December and January-May.

How many students do you accept at a time?
The number of students accepted will vary due to the number of applicants and supervisor availability. Generally, we accept one to two child life interns per academic year.

Do I get to pick where I am placed?
Interns have the ability to give feedback about which areas in the hospital are most interesting to them. Final placement decisions are made at the discretion of the internship coordinator and Child Life Services director.

What are the prerequisites for applying for an internship?
Potential interns must have completed a minimum of 100 hours volunteer hours working with children in the pediatric healthcare setting under the supervision of a Child Life Specialist Applicants must also meet the coursework criteria required to sit for the ACLP certifying exam.

I have experiences working with children in other settings. Do they count towards hours of experience?
While all these experiences with children are extremely valuable in the selection process and your career overall, the 100 hours in a pediatric healthcare setting under the supervision of a child life specialist are a requirement. Additional hours in other settings should be included on your application.

What level of education do I need to qualify for the internship program?
We will consider both graduate and undergraduate students.

How do I know if I have the correct coursework to do an internship in child life or to be a child life specialist?
The Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) is the governing organization for the child life profession. Information on coursework can be found on their website:
ACLP can also review your transcript for you.

What major should I pursue to be a CLS?
Information on career planning can be found on the ACLP Web site,

Do you accept interns that are not currently enrolled in/affiliated with a college or university?

Is the internship full-time?
Yes, we offer a 18 week full-time internship in the Fall and Winter/Spring.

Is an on-site interview required?
No, we have capability to set up a Skype interview, although all applicants are strongly encouraged to visit for an on-site tour and interview.


The Child Life Internship is an unpaid student experience.


NewYork-Presbyterian is unable to provide housing; however, our Real Estate office is available to assist with real estate listings and brokers.


  • 5 days/week for a total of 35 hours per week
  • A total of 700 hours
  • Some clinical rotations may include early morning/evening and weekend hours to best meet patient and family care needs. Hours are not to exceed an 8-hour workday and will include a 1 hour lunch break. Anticipated time off must be approved before the start of your internship.
  • Any additional requests for time off should be submitted in writing to your supervisor 2 weeks prior to the requested time. All time beyond 2 sick days must be made up in order to complete internship hour requirements.

How to Apply

Prior to Application:

  • Complete coursework in Child Life, Child Development or related fields, minimum bachelor’s degree to be earned at completion of internship experience.
  • Experience with children and families in non-healthcare settings (i.e. daycare, school environment)
  • Minimum of 100 hours of fieldwork or volunteer experience in a Child Life Program under the supervision of a Child Life Specialist

Submit completed application with the following documents:

  • Completed Common Life internship application form
  • Current Curriculum Vitae
  • Confirmation of completed pre-requirement of at least 100 hours volunteer/field work experience in a Child Life Program
  • Confirmation of Child Life Practicum In-Progress form OR Practicum experience verification form
  • Verification of Related Experience Hours form (if applicable)
  • Confirmation of Child Life Course In-Progress form
  • Confirmation of Child Life In-Progress: Additional Required Courses
  • Child Life Internship Candidate Common Recommendation Form
  • 1 current (within the past year) sealed letter of recommendation from a Child Life Specialist supervising your fieldwork or volunteer experience
  • 1 current sealed letter of recommendation from professional of your choice
  • Official sealed copies of College/University transcripts (undergraduate and graduate if applicable)
  • 4 additional questions from NYP Child Life Internship Taskforce

Send Applications to:
Child Life Internship Coordinators
Department of Child Life Services
NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital
525 East 68th Street, Box 271
New York, NY 10065
Email: [email protected]

After review of complete applications, applicants may be contacted for an interview. Selection of interns is based on college major, high level of academic achievement, letters of recommendations, written and verbal communication skills, strong personal qualities appropriate when working with children, families, staff and supervisors, and strong knowledge of child development and child life.

Internships are offered twice a year and follow the recommended dates from the ACLP. Please check for current internship application deadlines for Fall and Winter/Spring internship opportunities.