Child Life Services and Education

Child Life Services Practicum Program

Thank you for your interest in our Child Life Practicum program.

The practicum experience is intended to introduce the student to the child life field and the experiences facing children and adolescents in a healthcare setting. A certified child life specialist (CCLS) will supervise the student throughout their time at NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital.

Practicum students must have completed core curriculum, including child development course work and experiences with children through previous work experiences, volunteer work, etc. Practicum students must complete 35 hours per week for a total of 4 weeks. We currently only offer the practicum during the summer.


Application submission deadlines/details are as follows:

  • Postmarked by 2nd Thursday in February
  • Interviews in end of February/early March (interviews can be conducted in person or via video conference platform)
  • Offer date by 3rd Tuesday in March/Student acceptance by 3rd Thursday in March by 3pm

The application deadline is a postmarked deadline. We require all materials to be postmarked by the application deadline to be considered. We will not accept applications that are postmarked after the above date. Application is not a guarantee of acceptance. We will currently accept one student at this time. If you should have any further questions please contact our team via email at [email protected] or phone at (212) 746-3518.

Practicum Job Description:

The child life practicum student is exposed to the child life profession through observation. The experience is designed to prepare the student for a more intensive, career orientated training in a child life or related field.

Program Components:

  1. Observation of inpatient and outpatient child life services
  2. Enhance the understanding of child life and the effects of heath care experiences on children
  3. Observe medical play, preparation, and procedural support to gain a better understanding of the role of a child life specialist
  4. Opportunity to begin to apply and integrate developmental theory into future clinical practice.

Practicum Objectives:

  1. Becoming familiar with the child life profession and how they work with the interdisciplinary team.
  2. Develop communication skills with children and their families and other health care professionals.
  3. Recognize reactions to stress, illness, and pain in children from infancy through adolescence.
  4. Recognize the value of therapeutic relationships and play as supportive interventions.
  5. Gain basic knowledge and understanding of medical terminology, diagnoses, and procedures.
  6. Evaluate own performance and set goals for learning.
  7. Complete designated assignments in a timely manner.

Program Pre-requisites:

  1. Coursework (minimum of 3-4 college level courses) in the related fields of child life such as family studies, education, child development, etc. Must have good academic standing.
  2. A minimum of 50 hours of experience with healthy and typically developing children
  3. A minimum of 20-50 hours of volunteer experience with hospitalized children (please send official confirmation)
  4. Applicant must be entering junior year of college and have courses related to field of child life such as family studies, child/human development, education, etc.