Child Life Services

What are Child Life Services?

Certified Child Life Specialists help infants, children, youth and families cope with the stress and uncertainty of acute and chronic illness, injury, trauma, disability, loss and bereavement. Child life specialists often work in hospitals, and increasingly, in community or home based settings.

They have training in:

  • Child development.

  • Education.

  • Psychology.

Child life specialists work with babies, toddlers, children and teenagers. But they also work with families. They provide support and information for you and your family. They teach through:

  • Play.

  • Preparation.

  • Education.

  • Self-expression activities.

They also encourage your child’s development while they're facing challenging experiences.

The child life specialist focuses on the strengths and sense of well-being of children while promoting their optimal development and minimizing the adverse effects of children’s experiences in health care, special needs or other potentially stressful circumstances.

Using play and psychological preparation as primary tools, child life interventions facilitate coping and adjustment at times and under circumstances that might prove overwhelming otherwise. Intervention goals include

  • promoting optimal development,

  • presenting information,

  • planning and rehearsing useful coping strategies for stressful life events, upcoming challenges, or even medical events or procedures,

  • working through feelings about past or impending experiences,

  • establishing therapeutic relationships with children and parents to support family involvement in each child’s care across care settings.

The benefits of Child Life Services and their collaborative work with the family and health care team are not limited to the health care settings but also optimize care and support at home, in schools, and in the community.

Meet Laura Breau

Our Child Life Specialist is Laura Breau. Laura is certified with the Association of Child Life Professionals. Laura has worked with children and families experiencing a range of psychosocial and developmental challenges for over 20 years. Some of the areas in which she has specialized training and experience include: autism and neurodiversity, prematurity, blindness and low vision, medical trauma, parent-childattachment, sibling relationships, and infant/child mental health.

Laura has extensive training in understanding the developmental needs of children and family units. Her services include supporting the developmental and psychosocial needs of children, as well as challenges related to self-regulation, toileting, setting routines, feeding, and parental coaching. Laura is also a Certified Infant Massage Instructor, and Certified AutPlay Provider and provides neurodivergent affirming supports to autistic children and their families. Laura does not provide ABA services. Laura’s single session rate is $135 pre hour.

Child Life Packages

The Child Life package is designed for Families who are accessing services from our Child Life Specialist. The package includes including infant and child developmental support, self-regulation guidance, behaviour management, and parent coaching. This package also includes as needed communication via short phone calls and messaging with the PB portal.

Within typical use of this Package in a month, you might see:

  • 2-4 (50 minutes -1 hour) sessions for the child/client

  • 2 (50 minutes -1 hour) Sessions for the Parents/ family/support person

  • As needed ability to request short communications such as quick calls (less than 20 minutes), emails or discussion via Practice Better Chat.

Please note that this is not a crisis services and while the Child Life Specialist makes every effort to respond to families within 24 hours, they may not be available immediately.

In order to reduce overall costs during this intensive period, the service is billed on a monthly rate rather than the Child Life Specialist’s hourly rate.

The current cost monthly is $800, payment plans can be arranged with a valid credit card.

Other programs and services that may be recommended are optional and not included in this package price.

This Package may be covered through a Health Spending Account, but is not typically covered by an Employee Benefits plans for psychotherapy. This program can be covered under your OAP funding, with a support letter and overall supervision of the program by Candice Hamilton-Miller, RP. The cost of the monthly package does increase if supervision is required for OAP coverage.

*Prices Subject to change without notice