Barbara Bush Children's Hospital

Child Life Services

The MaineHealth Child Life Program at MaineHealth Barbara Bush Children's Hospital (MHBBCH) helps children cope with the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury, disability and hospitalization. Our child life specialists are trained professionals who focus on supporting the unique psycho-social, emotional and developmental needs of each child and family. 

Compassionate care for children experiencing illness, injury, disability or hospitalization

Child life specialists are part of your child's health care team. They 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 MHBBCH 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

MaineHealth believes in 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

Hospital School Program

The MHBBCH Hospital School Program offers education services for hospitalized children and their families. The program is for children in kindergarten through 12th grade and is led by a Maine certified teacher.

Patient Experience

We want your child's hospital stay to be as comfortable as possible. Learn more about how to stay connected during a hospital stay, how to access spiritual care, ways to pass the time and more.