Child Life Professional Opportunities

Our Child Life program is pleased to offer both child life practicum and child life 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

Our 120-hour practicum is offered in winter and fall semesters. The practicum is essentially an intensive job shadow experience mixed with additional volunteer responsibilities. It includes observational opportunities in at least four areas of the hospital where students observe child life specialists at work. The practicum also includes time spent in the playroom setting, interacting with patients and families, and assisting the child life staff with various tasks. Students completing a child life practicum at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital are not eligible to apply for an internship at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital. Students are also required to have at least 50 hours of volunteer experience in order to apply for the practicum. Please see the practicum application to the right for further requirements.

Application deadline: 

Internship Session

Application Deadlines

Initial Offer Dates

Acceptance Dates


March 15

1st Tuesday of May

Following Wednesday


September 5

2nd Tuesday of October

Following Wednesday

Please note, we are no longer accepting students for summer semesters as of 2017.

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 two interns a placement each winter and fall semester. 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 in order 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, in order to prepare interns for a career in child life. The internship is a full-time experience (40 hours a week) and requires a completion of a child life practicum at a different hospital prior to applying for the internship. Please see the internship application to the right for further requirements.