Practicum - Child Life Services

Learn More About Becoming a Child Life Specialist

At Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, our Child Life Specialists provide services throughout the entire hospital including: Emergency Department, Surgery, Inpatient Medical/Surgical, PICU, Radiology and outpatient specialty clinics. In the child life practicum, individuals will complete 120 hours during a 10-week period.

A Practicum in Child Life Will:

  • Orient individuals to the profession
  • Familiarize individuals with the hospital environment
  • Provide individuals with the opportunity to apply play and child development theories

Those in the program will receive the opportunity to shadow Child Life Specialists during Child Life interventions. They will also have the opportunity to plan, coordinate and facilitate group activities, as well as engage patients in activities at the bedside. 


  • At least one course in child development.
  • Experience working with children.
  • Purchase "The Handbook of Child Life," by Richard Thompson (ISBN: 978-039807834)

Along with the     Child Life Practicum Application, Please Include:

  • Resume
  • At least one letter of recommendation

*Application Deadlines - Summer: May 1st. At this time we are only offering a summer practicum. All applications must be postmarked by the stated deadline.

*Our child life practicum programming follows the recommendations for child life practicums set by the Child Life Council. 

Please Return Completed Applications to:

Valerie Chance, CCLS
Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital
Child Life Department
PO BOX 5299  
MS: 315-M6-CFL
Tacoma, WA 98415-0299

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Practicum Program

Can I Apply Early?

Yes.  However, please note that applications will not be reviewed until May 1st.

Do You Offer Housing and/or Transportation to the Hospital?

No. Students are encouraged to make their own arrangements ahead of time.  Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital is located on the city bus line. 

Are the Start and Stop Dates of the Practicum Set in Stone?

No. We are committed to working with students that have varied school and work schedules.  Our goal is to start mid-June and run for approximately 10 weeks.   

Is it a Paid Practicum?


Does Mary Bridge Offer Other Practicums throughout the year?

No, unfortunately we only offer a summer practicum program at this time. 

Still Have Questions?

Feel free to contact Valerie Chance at 253-403-7243, or [email protected]