The University of Iowa

Child Life

Child Life

UI Child Life Alum in recent news! (see videos below)

Professionals in Child Life assist children and families in adjusting to the stress of serious illness and other challenging life events. Child Life is a health-oriented profession dedicated to improving well-being and growth of children, emphasizing play and leisure activities to improve function in physical, emotional, social and cognitive domains. Child Life specialists provide a variety of services designed to support families and to promote mastery of different experiences by children, particularly when the child is experiencing healthcare events. Because families are often a primary source of support for a sick child, Child Life specialists may also provide care to the family by assisting in accurate information processing and supporting the family members and other caregivers. Child Life specialists also perform an important role as educators for other medical staff and the general community regarding the specific issues and needs of children experiencing healthcare or other stressful life events. The Child Life Council began in 1998 to direct national, professional certification. It establishes coursework and internship requirements for certification. 

Graduates in Therapeutic Recreation with an emphasis in Child Life are eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination offered by the Child Life Council.

Degrees Available

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Therapeutic Recreation with an emphasis in Child Life

Career Options

Upon certification by the Child Life Council, a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) can find a job in a pediatric hospital, community hospital, rehabilitation center, community organization that works with children and families, camp program, and other institutions that serve children and families.

For more information, the Pomerantz Career Center has links on careers related to Child Life.