The UC Davis Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department offers a variety of training programs for those interested in pursuing a career as a child life specialist. Each student program is designed to meet the individual learning needs of the student, while maintaining high educational standards and providing a foundation for students to learn about the psychosocial needs of children in the healthcare environment.

Training programs are available in the spring, summer and fall. Please review application timelines below.

Please direct any questions regarding the UC Davis Child Life training programs to:


Emily McDaniel, MA, CCLS
Education Coordinator
ejmcdaniel@ucdavis.edu

Child Life Internship Program

The UC Davis child life program offers a 16 week, 640-hour clinical internship, under the direct supervision of experienced Certified Child Life Specialists. The internship curriculum is based on standards set by the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP). Students in the internship program will undergo rigorous training in preparation for their future careers and certification examinations.

Interns gain hands-on training in child life programming, including medical play, surgical and procedural preparation, stress point coping, charting, planning and implementing therapeutic interventions, bereavement support, sibling interventions, and individual and playroom experiences. In addition, interns participate in multidisciplinary rounds, in-service training, and classes with the Center for Nursing Education.

All potential applicants should download and carefully review the Internship Requirements Packet, prior to application submission. Applicants submit, by mail, the Common Internship Application, plus all supporting materials.

Postmark Deadlines for Application Submission:

Spring: September 5th (Offers made by the second Tuesday of October)

Summer: January 5th (Offers made by the second Tuesday of February)

Please Mail Applications to:

UC Davis Children’s Hospital
Patient Care Services 4th Floor, Room 4302
Child Life – Emily McDaniel
2315 Stockton Blvd Sacramento, CA 95817

Please note, all completed materials must be submitted together, with no covers or bindings. Hand-delivered applications will not be accepted.

Child Life Practicum Program

The UC Davis Child Life program offers a 12 week, 144-hour practicum program for undergraduate and graduate students, who have not yet completed a child life internship, to serve as an introductory experience for individuals interested in pursuing a career in child life. Through experiential learning and observation of child life specialists, child life practicum students begin to increase their knowledge of evidence-based, developmentally-appropriate interventions including therapeutic play, preparation and education that support children, youth and families as they cope with the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury and treatment. Through these experiences, child life practicum students will enhance their knowledge of the child life profession and investigate the process of applying child life and developmental theory to practice. Students will receive close supervision from experienced Certified Child Life Specialists.

All potential applicants should download and carefully review the Practicum Application Packet prior to application submission. Applicants submit, by mail, the application packet with all supporting materials requested.

Please ensure you meet the criteria below before submitting a complete practicum application:

  • Have completed a minimum of 150 hours volunteering within a pediatric hospital setting (preferably under CCLS supervision)
  • Have completed at least one class in typical child development with a passing grade
  • Hold a GPA of 3.0 or above in major field of study
  • Have experience working with children (paid or volunteer) in group or individual settings
  • Are able to commit to a 12-week, 144-hour practicum program in the fall (to begin in early October)

 

Postmark Deadlines for Application Submission:
Fall placement - June 5

Mail Applications to:

UC Davis Children’s Hospital
Patient Care Services 4th Floor, Room 4302
Child Life – Emily McDaniel
2315 Stockton Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95817

 

Please note, all completed materials must be submitted together, with no covers or bindings. Hand-delivered applications will not be accepted.

For questions about our training programs, email is the best method to inquire - please email Emily McDaniel at ejmcdaniel@ucdavis.edu. Thank you for your interest in our program(s).