Please note: Due to operational changes during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not accepting applications for Summer 2021 child life practicum placements. We hope to return to regular summer offerings in 2022. Please return to this page for updates.
At Children's Hospital Colorado, our Child Life Department introduces students to the rewarding and challenging work of a certified child life specialist through summertime practicum placements. We’re proudly training the next generation of child life specialists who will improve children’s lives for years to come.
About our Program
The goal of a child life practicum is to provide experience and education. Throughout this Program, students will be exposed to the role of child life in the pediatric healthcare setting, as well as medical terminology, childhood illnesses, injury and treatments.
Practicum experiences are intended as an introduction to the field and to prepare students for a future child life internship. We seek practicum participants who are highly motivated and committed to the lifelong training and expertise that is required of a child life specialist. We give strong preference to applicants who have experience working with kids in a healthcare setting.
Practicum opportunities for child life students
Here at Children’s Colorado, child life specialists are a critical part of a patient’s care team. Our child life team is embedded in myriad patient areas and every inpatient unit throughout the hospital, including:
Practicum students will have the opportunity to learn from a team of more than 40 certified child life specialists, a child life medical director, a gaming and technology specialist, child life assistants, entertainment broadcasters and facility dog handlers.
Timeline and schedule
Practicum opportunities take place each summer at Children’s Colorado. Students spend three days per week in the hospital: two clinical and one educational day each week for six weeks.
Requirements for practicum students
We expect all students to be working towards child life certification and must be on the way to meeting the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) course requirements. Additionally, applicants should:
- Be actively enrolled in a college or university with at least a 3.0 GPA.
- Receiving credit hours for the practicum through your academic institution (Note: This is due to Colorado regulation requiring that universities provide worker’s compensation and is non-negotiable.)
- Have at least junior status (at least in the third year) of college or university.
- Have experience working with healthy children or adolescents. (Hospital volunteer experience is beneficial.)
- Demonstrate commitment to learning and advancing knowledge of child life in a hospital setting.
- Accepted students must complete a health screening, obtain a signed hospital contract, and complete additional tasks with human resources in advance of the practicum.
Learn more and apply
For complete program and practicum application details, please download our packet.
Child Life Student Programs (.pdf)
Frequently asked questions
How many child life practicum students do you accept?
We accept up to six practicum students per summer. Our program is competitive, and we receive many more practicum applications than we can possibly accept.
Where do practicum students work?
Child life practicum students can work at our locations at Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora and North Campus in Broomfield.
Do you provide housing?
No; we do not provide housing.
Do you offer paid practicums or internships?
Please note that child life learning opportunities are unpaid.
If you have further questions after reviewing all resources above, please contact us via email. Kindly note that we cannot provide information about other healthcare practicum or educational opportunities at the hospital.