Professional opportunities to become a Certified Child Life Specialist

The Helen DeVos Children's Hospital Child and Family Life team is pleased to offer internship opportunities. We strive to offer students a wide variety of experiences within the hospital setting as well as a solid understanding of the child life profession. We accept students with or without a college affiliation.

Child life practicum

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is taking a pause on our child life practicum and will not be offering practicums at this time.

Child life internship

Our program follows the guidance of the Association of Child Life Professionals offering a 600 hour (16-week) internship. We offer up to three interns a placement each winter (January to May) and fall (September to December) semester. We accept in-progress courses at the time of application. The 16 weeks are composed of two 6-week rotations. Interns will gain an in-depth understanding of inpatient and outpatient settings, which will allow the intern to finish their internship with a strong foundation to become an independent child life specialist. Interns will begin with a week of thorough orientation and curriculum study, while also becoming familiar with our hospital setting. Interns will have two weeks to choose interdepartmental observations to see all that our child life team has to offer patients and families in areas that are not part of their two rotations.

We provide a well-rounded curriculum, including child life module readings, written assignments, in-services, hands-on instruction, and experience, to prepare interns for a career as a child life specialist. The internship is a full-time experience (40 hours a week) including weekends. We are also happy to discuss a part time internship for Spring for those students who need to work during their internship.

Internship dates and deadlines

These deadlines are recommended by the ACLP.

Winter/Spring Internship: January to May

  • Application deadline: September 7th
  • Initial offer: Second Tuesday of October
  • Acceptance from student: Second Wednesday of October

Fall Internship: August to December

  • Application deadline: March 15th
  • Initial offer: First Tuesday in May
  • Acceptance from students: Following Wednesday of the initial offer date

Revised: January 2023

Thank you for your interest in the Child Life Internship Program at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. We use the ACLP Internship Readiness Common Application and do not require or accept any additional information.

Applications should be submitted by email to

Child life internship diversity, equity and inclusion scholarship

Spectrum Health is committed to cultivating a diverse workforce that fosters an inclusive culture. In past years, our commitments to national and regional initiatives have brought diversity, equity and inclusion strategies to the forefront. Commitments to the American Hospital Association’s 1, 2, 3 for Equity Pledge and the Talent 2025 Initiative have made reflecting our community in all roles and leadership a priority for our talent acquisition strategies. In support of these commitments, we are pleased to offer a child Life intern diversity, equity and inclusion scholarship to two child life interns each semester at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. See below for further requirements. The scholarship application is due the same time as the internship application and in accordance with the ACLP internship application deadlines. The scholarship is $6,000 total and recipients receive $3,000 at the beginning of the internship and $3,000 at the end.