As one of the nation’s leading children’s hospitals, Children's Hospital Colorado’s renowned Child Life Department is proud to provide clinical work experiences for child-life-specialists-in-training. Through semester-long internships, we’re dedicated to helping child life students become exceptional child life professionals who will impact kids’ lives for years to come.
About our Program
Accredited through the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP), our clinical internships are rigorous and designed to prepare students for certification and a career as a child life specialist. Here, child life interns will learn from our team of more than 40 certified child life specialists, child life medical director, gaming and technology specialist, child life assistants, entertainment broadcasters, facility dog handlers and other pediatric experts.
We seek interns who are highly motivated and committed to the lifelong training, education and experience that is required of a child life specialist. We give strong preference to applicants who have significant experience working with children in a healthcare setting.
Learn more about our Program’s requirements, schedule, application and frequently asked questions below.
Interns rotate through three clinical areas during their internship. Potential rotations include:
Internship schedules and deadlines
Children’s Colorado offers child life internships twice per year during spring and fall semesters, consisting of three rotations each. Interns must work 40 hours per week for 16 weeks, or a total of 640 hours.
Spring internship (January through May)
- Applications must be received electronically by September 5
- Applicants will be notified of internship offer by the second Tuesday of October
- Internship will begin on a Monday in January
Fall internship (August through December)
- Applications must be received electronically by March 15
- Applicants will be notified of internship offer by the first Tuesday in May
- Internship will begin on a Monday in August
Requirements for child life interns
We adhere to all standards and requirements of ACLP-accredited programs. To apply for a child life internship at Children’s Colorado, you must:
- Be actively enrolled in an academic program
- Be receiving credit hours for the internship through an academic institution. (Note: This is due to Colorado regulation requiring that universities provide worker’s compensation and is non-negotiable.)
- Meet the ACLP’s minimum course requirements (though the more experience, the better)
- Have successfully completed a child life practicum of at least 100 hours with a certified child life specialist
Note: A contract between the hospital and school will need to be negotiated prior to the start of an internship. Your school must supply worker's compensation and general liability insurance for student activities and education. The student or their school must provide proof of professional liability insurance.
How to apply
We follow the ACLP application process completely. To apply, please complete the ACLP's Common Child Life Internship Application and follow all additional instructions in the packet below.
Learn about Child Life Student Programs at Children's Colorado (.pdf)
Frequently asked questions
How many interns do you accept each semester?
We accept up to three child life interns per semester. Our programs are competitive, and we receive many more applications than we can possibly accept.
Where will child life interns work?
Child life interns can work at Children’s Colorado’s locations on Anschutz Medical Center in Aurora, North Campus in Broomfield and South Campus in Highlands Ranch.
Do you offer paid internships or housing opportunities?
Please note that child life learning opportunities are unpaid and do not include housing.
Does the Child Life Department offer creative arts or play therapy internships?
No. This program is for those training to become certified child life specialists. Our team cannot provide information about other educational offerings at Children’s Colorado.
Learn more about the profession of a child life specialist.
Please be sure to review all resources above. If you still have questions, please email ChildLife101@childrenscolorado.org. Kindly note that we cannot provide information about other educational opportunities or healthcare internships at the hospital.