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Child Life Program

Child Life Specialists

Child life specialists are trained professionals who help children cope with the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury, disability and hospitalization. They are health care team members who focus on supporting the unique psycho-social, emotional and developmental needs of each child and family. BBCH child life specialists are bachelors or masters trained and maintain nationally-recognized child life certifications. Our team also includes a child life assistant who organizes daily activities and events in the inpatient unit playroom.

Child Life Services

Child life specialists collaborate with families and health care providers to help pediatric patients cope with health care experiences. Services include:

  • Preparation for medical procedures or treatments using developmentally appropriate language and teaching dolls
  • Providing support and distraction during medical procedures
  • Introducing and supporting effective coping strategies to assist with medical experiences

The BBCH care team values the importance of play in a child’s development. Our child life specialists provide developmentally-appropriate opportunities for play and expressive activities. Play in the health care setting can include:

  • Diversional and recreational activities to help normalize the hospital environment and provide entertainment and distraction
  • Therapeutic play to facilitate self-expression, promote coping and support the achievement of health care goals
  • Medical play to promote coping and mastery of health care experiences

If you have any questions or would like to speak to a member of the child life team, please contact us at 207-662-2424 or

Child Life Internship Program

The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital Child Life Internship Program provides clinical opportunities and professional experiences required to enter the field of child life services. Our 15-week, 600-hour internship program prepares interns for the Child Life certification exam.

Education Requirements:

  • University undergraduate or graduate level affiliation of an accredited college or university in the field of child life, child development or related field
  • Successful completion or current enrollment in courses that meet Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) academic requirements
  • ACLP eligibility assessment – reflecting the completion of, or enrollment in, all required coursework
  • Cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 point scale
  • Refer to the Child Life Professional Candidate Certification Manual for additional information

Experience Requirements:

  • A minimum of 50 hours work or volunteer experience with well infants, children, youth
  • A minimum of 50 hours of experience with infants, children, youth in stressful situations, health care settings, and/or programs designed for children with special needs

Required Application Documents:

All application documents must be submitted via email to

Application Deadline:

Applications are due by Wednesday, September 7, 2022 for our Winter/Spring 2023 internship program

**All internship acceptances are contingent upon a contractual agreement between your academic institution and MaineHealth.

We do not offer Child Life practicum opportunities at this time.

Questions? Please contact us at

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