Child Life Assistant Job Description [Updated for 2024]

child life assistant job description

In the realm of child development, the role of Child Life Assistants has never been more critical.

As societal needs evolve, so too does the demand for compassionate individuals who can nurture, support, and safeguard our children’s well-being.

But let’s delve deeper: What’s truly expected from a Child Life Assistant?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker trying to understand the core responsibilities of this role,
  • A hiring manager seeking to define the ideal candidate,
  • Or simply curious about the intricacies of child life assistance,

You’re in the right place.

Today, we present a customizable Child Life Assistant job description template, designed for effortless posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right in.

Child Life Assistant Duties and Responsibilities

Child Life Assistants play an integral role in ensuring the emotional and developmental needs of children and adolescents are met during hospitalizations or medical treatments.

They help children understand and cope with their medical conditions and treatments.

Child Life Assistants have the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Assist in the planning and implementation of developmental and therapeutic play programs
  • Provide developmentally appropriate education about medical procedures, diagnoses, and hospital experiences
  • Offer support during medical procedures and comfort to children facing challenging experiences
  • Create a comforting and child-friendly environment in the hospital or healthcare setting
  • Collaborate with the multidisciplinary team including doctors, nurses, social workers to provide holistic care to the child and family
  • Help prepare children for surgeries or procedures by using play, education and other techniques
  • Document interventions and patient responses
  • Assist in the coordination of special events, therapeutic groups and activities to promote coping and normalization
  • Communicate with families and provide resources and referrals as needed


Child Life Assistant Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking a compassionate and dedicated Child Life Assistant to provide emotional support and therapeutic programming for children and their families during hospitalization.

The successful candidate will work under the guidance of a Child Life Specialist, using play, education and creative activities to help children understand and cope with their hospital experience.



  • Assist in planning and implementing therapeutic play activities
  • Provide emotional support to patients and families
  • Prepare children for medical procedures through education and play
  • Document interactions and interventions with patients
  • Coordinate activities in the playroom or bedside
  • Support Child Life Specialist in care planning
  • Follow hospital procedures and safety guidelines
  • Communicate effectively with multidisciplinary team



  • Associate or Bachelor’s degree in Child Life, Child Development, or a related field
  • Previous experience working with children, preferably in a healthcare setting
  • Understanding of child development and ability to communicate with children at various developmental levels
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Compassionate and patient
  • Ability to work in a stressful and emotional environment
  • CPR and First Aid certification preferred



  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Professional development opportunities


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Child Life Assistant
  • Work Environment: Hospital or healthcare facility. May include evenings, weekends and holidays.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Child Life Specialist or Child Life Program Coordinator.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $31,000 minimum to $47,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does a Child Life Assistant Do?

Child Life Assistants work in healthcare settings such as hospitals and clinics, specifically in pediatric departments.

They support the work of Child Life Specialists in helping to reduce children’s fear and anxiety about hospitalization.

Their primary role involves planning and implementing therapeutic play sessions for children of different ages.

This can include crafts, games, and various recreational activities, which are designed to help children understand and cope with their medical conditions.

Child Life Assistants also assist in preparing children and their families for medical procedures by providing age-appropriate education and emotional support.

This may involve the use of child-friendly language to explain procedures, or the use of dolls or toys to demonstrate procedures.

They also provide comfort and distraction to children during procedures such as blood draws or IV placements, using techniques such as guided imagery, deep breathing, or distraction toys.

Child Life Assistants are responsible for maintaining clean and safe play areas, and may also help to coordinate special events or visits for hospitalized children.

Their work requires strong communication skills as they regularly interact with children, families, and a variety of healthcare professionals.

They also need to be sensitive to the diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds of the families they serve.


Child Life Assistant Qualifications and Skills

A proficient Child Life Assistant should have the skills and qualifications that align with the role, including:

  • Strong interpersonal skills to connect and communicate effectively with children of all ages and their families
  • Knowledge about child development and psychology to understand and cater to the needs of children in various age groups
  • Ability to apply therapeutic techniques and interventions to assist children in coping with stress and anxiety related to hospitalization or illness
  • Excellent communication skills to provide clear and sensitive information about medical procedures, diagnosis or treatment plans to children and their families
  • Patience and empathy to deal with children who may be upset, scared or uncooperative due to their health condition
  • Organizational skills to manage playrooms, schedule activities, and coordinate with medical staff
  • Creativity to develop and implement engaging and educational activities that meet the needs and interests of children
  • Ability to work effectively in a team with healthcare professionals and other child life staff
  • Physical stamina to remain active throughout the day and interact with children


Child Life Assistant Experience Requirements

Child Life Assistants typically need at least a minimum of 1 to 2 years of experience working with children.

This experience is often obtained through volunteer work, internships, or part-time jobs in child care, pediatrics, or child psychology settings.

At the entry-level, Child Life Assistants should have hands-on experience in providing emotional support to children and their families, understanding their needs, and using recreational activities as a form of therapy.

Experience working in a multidisciplinary team is also beneficial.

Candidates with more than 3 years of experience may have had exposure to more complex cases and learned how to support children in high-stress medical situations.

They may have developed their skills in child development, family systems, therapeutic recreation, and pediatric medical conditions.

Those with over 5 years of experience might have had the opportunity to take on leadership roles or supervisory duties, managing junior Child Life Assistants and organizing child life programs in healthcare settings.

These individuals may be suited for a Child Life Specialist or a Child Life Program Coordinator role.

In addition, Child Life Assistants often require a Bachelor’s degree in a related field such as Child Life, Child Development, or Psychology, and some employers may prefer candidates who have pursued certification from the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP).


Child Life Assistant Education and Training Requirements

Child Life Assistants typically have an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in child life, child development, psychology, or a related field.

They must have a solid understanding of child development and psychological theories applicable to children and families.

Clinical training or internship experience in a child life setting, such as a pediatric hospital or clinic, is highly desirable.

Some positions may require Child Life Assistants to have Child Life Professional Certification (CCLS), which can be obtained through the Association of Child Life Professionals.

This certification requires a degree in a related field, a completed internship, and passing a comprehensive exam.

Continued education and training on current child life practices and interventions are beneficial for maintaining certification and staying up-to-date with the field’s best practices.

In addition to formal education and certification, Child Life Assistants should have strong communication and interpersonal skills to effectively work with children and their families during challenging times.


Child Life Assistant Salary Expectations

A Child Life Assistant earns an average salary of $31,200 (USD) per year.

The actual earnings may vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and the employing healthcare institution.


Child Life Assistant Job Description FAQs

What are the essential skills for a Child Life Assistant?

A Child Life Assistant should have excellent communication and interpersonal skills to interact effectively with children and their families.

They should be compassionate and empathetic, with a strong ability to handle stressful situations.

Additionally, they should possess creativity to engage children in therapeutic play and activities.

Knowledge in child development and psychology is also essential.


Do Child Life Assistants require a specific degree?

While a specific degree is not always necessary, Child Life Assistants often have a background in child development, psychology, or a related field.

Some hospitals or institutions may prefer candidates with a degree in these areas.

Additionally, Child Life Assistants may benefit from obtaining certification from the Association of Child Life Professionals.


What should you look for in a Child Life Assistant resume?

In a Child Life Assistant’s resume, look for experience working with children, especially in a healthcare setting.

This could include volunteering, internships, or previous jobs.

Skills such as communication, empathy, and crisis intervention are also valuable.

Any certification, such as from the Association of Child Life Professionals, should be highlighted.


What qualities make a good Child Life Assistant?

A good Child Life Assistant is compassionate, patient, and has a genuine love for children.

They should be able to understand and respond to the emotional needs of children and their families.

They should have excellent communication skills to interact with children of all ages and their families.

Creativity is also crucial, as they often need to come up with engaging activities that can distract and comfort children in a healthcare setting.


What are the daily duties of a Child Life Assistant?

A Child Life Assistant typically spends their day interacting with children and their families in a healthcare setting.

They may plan and implement therapeutic play activities, provide support during medical procedures, and assist with education about illness and treatment.

They also liaise with the healthcare team to ensure the emotional and developmental needs of the child are being met.



And there you have it.

Today, we’ve lifted the veil on what it truly means to be a Child Life Assistant.

Surprise, surprise?

It’s not just about playing games.

It’s about shaping young lives, one child at a time.

With our reliable Child Life Assistant job description template and real-world examples, you’re well prepared to make your next move.

But why pause here?

Dive deeper with our job description generator. It’s your next phase in crafting exact listings or refining your resume to excellence.


Every interaction with a child is a step towards a better future.

Let’s mold that future. Together.

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