COVID-19 Updates

ACLP shares the general public's concern about the COVID-19 pandemic. As the organization reacts to this public health crisis, we are guided by our vision: ACLP advances psychosocial care and the emotional safety of children, youth, and families impacted by healthcare and significant life experiences.

As we experience this significant life event together, we wish to assure you - our members, conference attendees, and child life allies - that your physical and emotional safety are our highest priorities. We understand that the COVID-19 situation is changing daily and invite you to check this page regularly to receive updates about how COVID-19 is affecting our clinical and academic communities, Child Life Annual Conference, certification program, and association initiatives.

We've created a COVID-19 forum for ACLP members and encourage program leaders and academic leaders to participate and keep one another apprised of changes as they happen at the clinical and academic levels. Members will find the new forum at: Forums> ACLP Forums>COVID-19. To subscribe to the COVID-19 forum click the envelope icon after entering this forum space. Doing so will ensure you receive posts/responses specific to this forum. As always, please keep this space professional & supportive. This forum is offered as a means to keep the child life community apprised of the daily, fast-paced changes.

For COVID-19 child life resources, click here.


Update: March 24, 2020

COVID-19 Updates to Child Life Professional Data Center (CLPDC) Data Collection and Entry 

Several child life programs have reached out with concern about tracking and entering CLPDC quarterly data (patients seen in certain service areas) during this time when operations and priorities are far from normal. Some programs fear they will be unable to collect any data during this time while others are concerned that changes in their team’s operations will result in atypical statistics that do not truly represent how their team functions under normal circumstances. 

We hear these concerns and first and foremost want to assure child life programs that we understand that priorities within your institutions have shifted and those needs must come first. For those programs that are still able to collect data but feel it is not representative of what is “normal” for your team, carry on accurately collecting and reporting what you are doing currently. We understand that this is an extraordinary time, but in some ways that makes this data more valuable. When things have settled, we will be able to work with our data analyst to understand what changes occur in child life patient care during a pandemic scenario. This information will be valuable to our field and has the potential to help our community be informed and prepared if we find ourselves in a similar crisis in the future. 

For those programs that are unable to collect data at this time, allow yourself some grace. Many of you are being asked to go above and beyond your normal duties and in order for that to be sustainable, something has to give. Missing a quarter (or two) of data neither invalidates all the data you previously entered into the CLPDC, nor does it make future data less valuable. Be kind to yourselves and realistic about what is and is not doable during this time. We are here to help you get back in the swing of data collection when you are ready. 

For any questions about the CLPDC, data collection, or data entry, please contact Meagan Roloff, Director of Member Engagement & Partnerships, at mroloff@childlife.org or 571-483-4486. 

Update: March 23, 2020

“ACLP understands the financial and professional challenges prospective child life specialists are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. We would like to offer the community spirit and professional resources that ACLP membership provides while also reducing the financial burden membership may pose during this challenging time.”  - Jen Lipsey, ACLP CEO

Watch ACLP CEO Jen Lipsey's COVID-19 video update.

Membership Benefits Extended for Students Affected by COVID-19 Cancellations

Anyone who has had their Winter/Spring or Summer internship cancelled may send proof of the cancellation/postponement to membership@childlife.org. If you are already an ACLP member, your membership will be extended for a year. If you're not currently an ACLP member, you will receive free membership for one year.


Current ACLP members who were scheduled to take the Child Life Professional Certification Exam in March and were unable to do so because of testing center cancellations may request to have their membership extended for 6 months by emailing membership@childlife.org

Certification Reinstatement Fees Waived

ACLP will not be assessing additional reinstatement fees on April 1, 2020 for those who have yet to pay their certification annual maintenance fees. Existing annual maintenance fees are due by 12/31/2020 to avoid loss of the CCLS credential.

Update: March 18, 2020

Child Life Professional Certification Examination

SMT/IQT/Prometric, our test administration partners, have closed all of their testing centers due to the coronavirus.

Candidates may reschedule the exam through SMT/IQT/Prometric during the period from April 17 – May 31, 2020. Whether testing centers will again be open during this period is still unknown. Their Customer Service number is 866-773-1114.

Any additional information I receive will be forwarded to you as soon as it is available. Thank you for your patience.

Questions may be directed to Ame Enright at AEnright@childlife.org or SMT Customer Service at 866-773-1114.

Update: March 18, 2020

CLCC Internship Hours Determination

The Child Life Certification Commission reaffirms its commitment to the protection of the public. That is the primary purpose of the CCLS credential. 

At this time, CLCC is not considering a universal reduction in the number of required internship hours.

Read the full statement that explains the rationale for this decision.
See video message from Jen Lipsey, ACLP CEO, and Ame Enright, Director of Certification.

CLCC recognizes this is a time of uncertainty for many. However, one thing that is not uncertain is the meaning behind the CCLS credential. The credential is awarded only to those who have demonstrated the skills and knowledge necessary to safely (as determined by measurable skills and knowledge) serve the psychosocial needs of children experiencing a healthcare encounter. Standards such as the 600-hour internship are set to protect the credential and give it meaning.  The standards are the measures we use to determine if one can safely serve the public. CLCC must uphold such standards in order to protect this meaning, the public, and our profession. 

Any questions may be directed to Ame Enright, Director of Certification, at AEnright@childlife.org.

Child Life Annual Conference

Scam Alert: Several attendees have reported receiving emails stating that the conference has been cancelled. This is a scam; ACLP is the only credible source of news related to conference.

For those who are registered to attend the Child Life Annual Conference in San Antonio on May 21-24, we are closely monitoring updates from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and local health organizations.

At this time, we plan on hosting the Annual Conference as scheduled. We will update members and other registrants immediately should that change. In the immediate term, ACLP encourages attendees at all ACLP meetings as well as staff to practice good health habits.

Although we are still looking forward to hosting our annual conference, we are asking attendees to consider their comfort level, personal health and exposure risks. We encourage our international attendees to be especially prudent and stay informed about their governments' public health and travel policies.

While we still hope you are able to join us in San Antonio, we trust that you will use discretion in assessing your own health, travel considerations and potential risk factors for joining us. Most notably, we urge all attendees to:

  • STAY HOME if you have flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, sneeze, runny nose, headaches, joint aches/pains, chills, etc. 
  • STAY HOME if you have recently traveled to or from infected areas (check with local public health resources if you are unsure about whether an area has been infected).
  • STAY HOME if you have been in contact with anyone with COVID-19/corona virus. 


San Antonio Marriott RiverCenter Updates
For information about the hotel's COVID-19 response and policies, see the Marriott website.

Revised Registration Cancellation/Refund Policy
Refund requests for basic conference registration will be honored if received in writing by ACLP no later than April 17, 2020. Requests received between April 18, 2020 and May 15, 2020 will be subject to a $50 service fee. No refunds will be accepted after May 16, 2020.

Resources