Preparing for the Exam

Below you will find the publications and other references that the Child Life Certification Commission recommends candidates use to study.  These are the only exam preparatory materials endorsed by CLCC and ACLP.

Some candidates form local or online study groups and some have found it helpful to connect with instructors and/or internship supervisors for guidance regarding their particular strengths and weaknesses.

Recommended References

The following publications are used to develop and validate the Child Life Professional Certification Exam. Candidates wishing to prepare for the exam should be familiar with their contents

  • Meeting Children’s Psychosocial Needs Across the Healthcare Continuum Rollins, Bolig, & Mahan (2018)
  • The Handbook of Child Life Thompson (2018)
  • Psychosocial Care of Children in Hospitals: A Clinical Practice Manual Gaynard, et al. (1998)
  • Child Life in Hospitals: Theory and Practice Thompson & Stanford (1981)
  • A Child in Pain: What Health Professionals Can Do to Help Kuttner, L. (2010)
  • Volunteers in Child Health: Management, Selection, Training and Supervision Kiley (1992)
  • Therapeutic Activities for Children and Teens Coping with Health Issues Hart & Rollins (2011)
  • How to Help Children through a Parent’s Serious Illness McCue & Bonn (2011)
  • Helping Children and Adolescents with Chronic and Serious Medical Conditions: A Strengths-Based Approach Webb (2009)
  • Making Ethical Decisions in Child Life Practice Child Life Council (2000)
  • Guidelines for the Development of Child Life Programs Child Life Council (2006)
  • Official Documents of the Child Life Council ACLP (2020)
  • Child life Beyond the Hospital CLC (2008)
  • The Value of Certified Child Life Specialists: Direct and Downstream Optimization of Pediatric Patient and Family Outcomes Boles, J. et al. (2020) 
  • Health equity and children’s rights Council on Community Pediatrics and Committee on Native American Child Health (2010)
  • Technology and interactive media as tools in early childhood programs serving children from birth through age 8 National Association for the Education of Young Children & Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College. (2012)
  • The Impact of Racism on Child and Adolescent Health Pediatrics (2019)
  • Any normal child growth and development textbook
  • Any pediatric nursing textbook

ACLP Child Life Certification Exam Study Guide

This comprehensive certification exam study guide includes a webinar, exam information pamphlet (available for download) and 50 question online quiz. These materials, designed by ACLP in partnership with the Education and Training Committee, are intended to help future child life specialists be prepared for the certification exam.