Child Life Assistant AAS Degree (NEW!)

Published on: February 20, 2010

Filled Under: Articulation (Transfer), Child Life, Early Childhood Youth Dev Program, What's Hot

Views: 2799

I have FANTASTIC news to share today. Some of you already know, but for those who don’t… our newest degree option was approved in December! It’s a Child Life Assistant AAS Degree. If you’re like most people, you’re probably sitting there wondering, what is a Child Life Assistant? I can’t wait to tell you about it…

Child Life Assistants support children and families through health care experiences by using developmental play and normalized activities. Individuals in this position report to the child life director. Dakota County Technical College has worked cooperatively with Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota to develop curriculum and training that provides students with the skills necessary to obtain employment in this field. 

Child life assistants are an important component to the interdisciplinary team found in most pediatric facilities, as well as many smaller pediatric inpatient units. Their role promotes healing by supporting and facilitating play and development for hospitalized children and adolescents and is a valuable component in the delivery of family-centered care.


Some of the responsibilities of a Child Life Assistant include:

• Organize and provide bedside activities to promote normal growth

and development

• Provide play and social opportunities

• Supply sibling support

• Coordinate “technology” experiences using computers, video games,

and other devices

• Offer parents information on typical growth/development and methods

for engaging their children in a developmentally-supportive manner

• Collaborate with child life specialists and health care team

• Coordinate special events

• Serve as community contact for toys or other supplies being donated

for patients

• Manage and or assist in management of playrooms, activity rooms and



After DCTC, students would have the option to continue on for more education, if desired. We have two pending articulations (transfer agreements) in the works. Students would also have the opportunity to then pursue a career as a Certified Child Life Specialist, if they achieved a Bachelor’s degree with the appropriate coursework, completed a 480 hour Child Life Internship, and passed the Child Life Council exam. Want to learn more about being a Child Life Specialist? Read a previous post of mine by clicking HERE.


For Your Info – Students with this degree could still pursue typical child care positions as well.


If you are interested in pursuing this career field, please contact me. Dawn Braa, 651.423.8315

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