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Child, Youth and Family Studies

Child Life and Community Health — graduate certificate

Apply now for Fall 2024

To be considered for the fall semester intake, completed applications must be received by January 31, 2024. Applications received later will be considered as space permits.

The deadline to apply is January 31, 2024.


Graduate certificate

Four semesters


How to apply

Start date:




  • Practicum provides work experience and industry contacts
  • Prepares graduates to meet the professional requirements of the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) to become eligible to write the Child Life Certification Exam
  • Small cohort of maximum 12 students


The Child Life and Community Health program prepares you to meet the professional requirements of the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) to become eligible to write the Child Life Certification Exam and earn the designation of Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS).

While this unique 15-credit graduate certificate prepares you for a career in a hospital or community health care setting, it is also an excellent choice for working in a variety of settings supporting children, youth, and families in challenging life situations.

The small cohort format provides a supportive learning environment in which you are able to explore the theories specific to child life, therapeutic play, child development, transitions, and acquire the skills and knowledge required to work with grief and loss.

As part of the program, you gain work experience in the form of a 600-hour internship where you demonstrate competency in specific clinical skills as defined by the Association of Child Life Professionals.

Note: You are responsible for your own transportation and any travel costs associated with the internship. Internship sites are limited locally and you may travel out-of-province or abroad to find an available site. Completion of an internship and verification by an eligible Certified Child Life Specialist Supervisor are required to apply to write the certification exam. 

Upon completion of the Child Life and Community Health program you may opt to write the Child Life Certification Exam, or you may choose to continue your education at the graduate level.

View the Child Life and Community Health program outline in the UFV Academic Calendar.


Career opportunities span a wide range of field settings and areas of practice. As a licensed Child Life Specialist, you may pursue a rewarding career in hospitals and community-based health settings such as hospice organizations, respite care, and specific health-related foundations.

 You may find employment as a:

  • Healthcare Play Specialist
  • Hospital Play Specialist
  • Child & Youth Bereavement Worker
  • Patient Education & Support Coordinator

You may also seek international work opportunities, as the North American designations Hospital Play Specialist and Child Life Therapist are recognized globally.



This program is open to international students


Students who do not meet the entrance requirements can upgrade in order to meet prerequisites for university classes.

You must have either graduated from the Bachelor of Arts in Child and Youth Care, an Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP)-endorsed degree program or have successfully completed 10 specific university transfer credit courses as part of your previous degree, as outlined on the ACLP website.

Contact the Child, Youth and Family Studies department head to learn more about upgrading options.


Phone: 604-854-4580
Toll free: 1-888-504-7441 ext. 4580

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