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: November 6, 2020

This report is a snapshot of what the child life field looked like from October 5 through October 19 in terms of burnout, coping, and the new school year.

Ongoing Impacts of COVID-19 on the Child Life Community

Update: June 16, 2020

Change in November Certification Exam Testing Dates for 2020 Only

In response to the global coronavirus pandemic, the traditional November testing window will be expanded to include October 1, 2020 – November 15, 2020. Due to the predicted second wave of coronavirus cases and the potential for the closure of in-person testing facilities, candidates are encouraged to test earlier within this testing window if possible.

Registrations will be accepted on a rolling basis through October 27, 2020; no registrations for this testing window will be accepted after October 27, 2020. Candidates must register and pay for the exam through the ACLP website a minimum of 5 days prior to the desired test date.

Update: June 15, 2020

This report is as a snapshot of what the child life field looked like from June 1 through June 8. The data is provided for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as recommendations of what child life programs should or should not be doing.

Child Life Staffing and Programming Updates for June 1-8

Update: May 18, 2020

ACLP issued a second survey to all Certified Child Life Specialists in order to compile data for the time period of May 4 through May 11. This report is as a snapshot of what the child life field looks like at this point in time. The data is provided for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as recommendations of what child life programs should or should not be doing.

Child Life Staffing and Programming Updates for May 4-11

Update: April 20, 2020

ACLP issued a survey to all Certified Child Life Specialists on April 6 to assess how COVID-19 is affecting child life staffing in hospitals and what changes child life specialists are making to their practices. We have compiled the data from the survey into two reports. The first report looks at what is happening in the US, Canada, and other countries. The second report looks more closely at the top five COVID-19 affected states in the US.

ACLP is releasing these reports as a snapshot of what the child life field looks like at this point in time. The data is provided for informational purposes and should not be interpreted as recommendations of what child life programs should or should not be doing.

We are continuing to monitor for changes in the child life field and broader healthcare industry. As such, we will re-issue the survey at the beginning of May and continue providing these snapshot reports. Please take the survey again in May, even if none of your responses have changed, so we can provide the most accurate depiction possible.

Child Life Staffing and Programming Updates

Top 5 States Supplemental Report

Update: March 8, 2020

ACLP Statement in Support of CLCC Decision on Clinical Hours

Update: March 31, 2020

CLCC Statement for Interns

CLCC Statement for Academics

Guidance for Remote Internship Activities

Update: March 27, 2020

Child Life Annual Conference

After thorough review and careful consideration of the CDC's latest Covid-19 recommendations on social distancing, ACLP has decided to transform the 2020 Child Life Annual Conference into an interactive, virtual event May 20-23, 2020. ACLP has successfully negotiated an agreement with the conference hotel to mitigate the large financial impact that cancelling the conference will have on the organization.

We are disappointed we won't be able to see you in person in San Antonio but are excited that we can still provide a unique, high-quality virtual conference experience. We will still have our highly anticipated, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) themed keynote speakers and the varied, relevant educational content ACLP has always provided at the annual conference. But you will now be able to access it safely and conveniently from your home or office.

No action is needed from you if you have already registered for conference; your original conference registration fees will be applied to the virtual conference. See the Child Life Virtual Conference web page for more information.

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.

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 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 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

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

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

Update: March 8, 2020

ACLP Statement in Support of CLCC Decision on Clinical Hours