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 Prerequisites for a Child Life Internship

We only accept interns affiliated with a college or university. All Child Life internship application materials must be emailed to before midnight or postmarked by the deadline for consideration.

Complete internship prerequisites before you apply.

If you are a Therapeutic Recreation (TR) student, you must be eligible to sit for both Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) Certification exam and NCTRC exam.

1. College transcripts

Provide your transcripts and a list of current coursework. Student issued transcripts are acceptable.

2. Eligibility assessment

Update your assessment on ACLP's site prior to your internship.

3. Medical Terminology

Complete Medical Terminology. If you're a TR student focusing on dual certification, you must take both Child and Adolescent Development Course.

4. Minimum of 200 volunteer hours

100 hours of well-child experiences:

  • Summer camps
  • Nursery or daycare
  • School-age after-school programs
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Big Brothers and Big Sisters
  • Coaching

100 hours with children and families in a medical/alternative setting:

5. Required readings

Read the following prior to your internship at Marshfield Children's:

  • Child Life in Hospitals: Theory and Practice; Thompson and Stanford
  • Psychosocial Care of Children in Hospitals: A Clinical Practice Manual; Gaynard, Wolfer, Goldberger, Thompson, Redburn and Laidley
  • Meeting Children's Psychosocial Needs Across the Healthcare Continuum; Rollins, Bolig and Mahan
  • The Handbook of Child Life: A Guide for Pediatric Psychosocial Care (2009); Thompson
  • Highly suggested:  A Child in Pain, Leora Kuttner
  • Highly suggested:  The Pips of Child LIfe: The Middle Years of Play Programs in Hospitals, Turner and Brown

6. Two ACLP Common Recommendation Forms

  • One from a mentor/supervisor of volunteer or work experience
  • One from an education advisor/professor

Recommendation forms can be emailed with your application to

7. Resume

Include your education and field experiences on your resume.

8. Cover Letter

Include your specific interests to our program.

9. Coursework

Successfully complete child life coursework inclusive of the six applied areas of study, as required by ACLP.

10. Goals and Objectives

Include what you hope to accomplish during your internship. 

11. Confirm in-progress coursework

Complete your Confirmation of Child Life Course In-progress form and submit with your application materials to (Find this form at the end of your application.)

12. Confirm in-progress practicum

Complete your Confirmation of Child Life Practicum In-progress form and submit with your application materials to (Find this form at the end of your application.)

13. Verification of Related Experience Hours

Include a form for each individual experience.

14. Essay Questions

Complete and attach.

After meeting prerequisites, complete your application.

After reviewing the applications, the top 10 candidates will be contacted for an interview either onsite or through Skype. If you are offered an internship and accept, you will need to complete the health work requirements and a background check. If not already established, we will need an affilliation agreement/contract with your college/university.

PictureThis internship site is accredited by the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP), under the direction of Certified Child Life Specialists.