Child Life

PROFESSIONAL PROGRAM - A stepping-stone to becoming a Child Life Specialist! Our FULLY ONLINE courses are designed to prepare you for CCLS certification exam. The coursework concentrates on childhood growth and development as well as the psychological impact of illness, divorce, and grief.

This program is perfect for...

... PREPARATION for Child Life Certification OR any individual wishing to learn more about child life, including Child Life assistants, interns, pediatric medical providers, classroom teachers working with children having chronic or life-threatening illnesses. It's a stepping-stone to becoming a Certified Child Life Specialist.

What you'll learn...

An overview of child life theory and practice, including the therapeutic role of play, the nature of suffering, stages of grief, medical terminology, community outreach, and technology.
Valuable information and practical skills that can be applied when working with children, adolescents and their families in healthcare settings and other challenging environments.
You’ll be equipped with a strong background in child development and family organization. You will study effective coping skills for families facing medical issues and other concerns.
Our program course work is conveniently designed to meet the individual requirements of the CCLS exam.

This program's courses work is designed to prepare you for CCLS certification.

An Application is no longer required to enroll in any Child Life courses. Once you complete at least 5 courses - 20 total units, if you would like to receive a Child Life Professional Certificate of completion, send a request to and we will send it to you.

NOTE* The Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) credential is the exclusive certification offered by the Association of Child Life Professionals.

UCSB Extension/Division of Professional and Continuing Education offers courses that have been reviewed, earned pre-approval and are listed on the Association of Child Life Professionals Programs Offering Pre-Approved Courses or Academic Programs Offering Child Life Course
Our courses are a stepping stone to help you reach the next step towards becoming a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS)

To determine which courses you need to complete to complement those from your Bachelor's degree to satisfied the requirements for the Exam, please complete the eligibility assessment offered through the Association of Child Life Professionals.

Important Updates and Resources:  ACLP shares the general public's concern about the COVID-19 pandemic

Online Courses Offerings


UCSB Students/ Community
Individual Courses

An amazing story about Elizabeth Seton Children's Center in Yonkers, NY.  Some of the most at-risk children in the world are cared for here and one of our own, Vanessa Andrews is on the front line.  Since parents can't visit it's now the nurses' jobs to also fill those shoes. Read More.