The Division of Child Life and Integrative Care at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center offers an internship in child life that has been accredited by the Association of Child Life Professionals. This 16-week internship features experimental learning, and participating students can expect to gain knowledge in core child life competencies. Opportunities for internship are year round, with programs offered in the winter/spring, summer and fall.

Child Life Student Symposium on May 18

Join us on May 18 for an opportunity to learn more about the work child life specialists do at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

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Program Schedule

The first week is an intensive orientation to our medical center campus and the Division of Child Life. The rest of your 40 hour / week commitment will be divided into rotations giving you experience with all ages:

  • Infants / toddlers
  • Pre-school / school-age children
  • Adolescents/ Young Adults

In varied clinical areas you will have the opportunity to spend time (1) assessing psychosocial needs of patients and families, (2) planning developmentally appropriate activities for hospitalized children, (3) assisting in supervision of activity centers, (4) providing one-on-one interventions, (5) participating in preparation for and support during procedures and treatments, and (6) conducting medical play sessions, all under the supervision of Certified Child Life Specialists.

Internship Format

Week 1


Week 2-7

Foundational Rotation
May be Inpatient or Outpatient Assignment
Focused on introduction and practice of Basic CL competencies

Week 8,9

Enrichment Rotation
In Summer, 1 week at Camp Flying Horse Farms will be provided.
Interns may use additional time for mini-rotations in areas of special interest.

Week 10-16

Professional Development Rotation
May be Inpatient, Outpatient or Critical Care Assignment
Focused on practice and mastery of Advanced CL competencies

  Concentrated activity center observation and practice will be assigned individually.


Specialty Rotations

You may have the opportunity to experience two specialty areas. Possible specialty rotations may include:

  • Emergency Department
  • GI / Colorectal Unit
  • Inpatient Psychiatry
  • Medical-Surgical Units
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Newborn Intensive Care Unit
  • Cardiac Intensive Care Unit
  • Hematology / Oncology 
  • Transplants
  • Adolescents
  • Pulmonary Medicine 
  • Neurology / Neurosurgery 
  • Short Stay -- Same Day Surgery
  • Outpatient Centers (Hematology / Oncology Clinic, Pediatric Primary Care Clinic, Ambulatory Care Clinics)
  • Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

We will also introduce you to our preoperative programs, Josh Cares, Starshine Hospice, Integrative Care Services, child life practice in a camp setting, and programming within our Seacrest Studio.

The Division of Child Life has responsibilities for patient care 365 days a year with morning, afternoon and evening programs. As a result, your schedule during your internship at Cincinnati Children's will vary and will require some Saturday, and one or more Sunday commitments. 

Additional Information

For additional information or clarification, please contact the Child Life Education Specialist at