Child Life Now


Our mission is to deliver personalized child life services where and when you need them. Child life specialists are professionals trained to reduce the negative impact that stressful and traumatic events have on a child's development. Child life specialists most often work in hospital or medical settings and aim to foster a positive coping experience for children and their families. Child Life Now brings these services to your home to help child understand and overcome emotionally or psychologically challenging situations.


We work with caregivers, pediatricians, hospitals, dentists, and teachers to develop of a plan of care designed to help children master new or challenging medical experiences.

Receiving a new medical diagnosis can be daunting for families. Parents may not know the exact words to use to explain a complex diagnosis to a child. Children may come home from the doctor or hospital with many questions. Often times families struggle either decision of how much information if appropriate for each child in the family. Child Life Now will navigate this new territory with you to ensure your children receive honest and accurate information delivered with developmentally-appropriate language. We are ready for all of the tough questions your children may throw our way.

The coping strategies your children will learn from Child Life Now will improve their ability to deal with stressful medical, academic and life situation. Infants through teens will benefit from the creative and easy to learn breathing techniques, guided imagery, soothing parent-child touch, and constructive distraction.

Parents may be unsure how much to tell they child about an upcoming medical procedure. This may be a procedure a family member or a child is scheduled to undergo. (EBP) Anticipated stress is easier for children to handle than unanticipated stress. Child Life Now will provide age appropriate teaching tools, language, and depth for any medical procedure for each child in your home. We anticipate the questions, fears, and misconceptions that children may have while providing sensitive explanations of medical experiences.

It is very common for children to experience fear and anxiety at the dentist office. Through teaching, rehearsal and play, Child Life Now can familiarize your child with dental equipment and sensations. Helping your child master their next dental visit will set them up for success for future oral health needs.

Children are exposed to daily stressors in our busy modern-day world. These stressors are compounded when a child is faced with a medical or traumatic experience. Relaxation techniques

Express yourself…..safely and constructively! We all feel negative and positive emotions, and we all need to express our emotions. The methods in which we go about properly expressing our emotions need to be taught and modeled for children. This is especially important when children are managing compounding stressors like major transitions, family changes, or an illness. Child Life Now introduces children to variety of emotional expression strategies and skills with the use of creative arts, games, and play.

The clinicians at Child Life Now are skilled in adapting toys, art activities, and games to meet the therapeutic needs of children with physical or developmental differences. Children and caregivers leave each session with creative ways to adapt everyday play at home.

There is no formula to help a child process and grieve after the loss of a loved one. Child Life Now takes an individualized approach and knowledge of children’s understanding of death and dying to tailor a sensitive care plan for families faced with death. Each friend or family member will grieve differently and we believe in supporting the entire family.

It is normal to wonder how we will be remembered after we die. Many like to create a unique legacy project to carry on their name, passions, or ideals. Child Life now can help children and caregivers faced with death safely create a legacy for themselves or someone they love. From community engagement activities to precious foot print molds, Child Life Now can meet your family’s needs.


Madeline Schmitz, CCLS

Maddie found the Child Life profession as a great way to integrate her passion of healthcare, teaching and working with families. She finished her commitment to Teach for America in 2011 and began studying Child Development at the Erikson Institute in Chicago, Illinois. Maddie completed her master's degree following her clinical internship at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital. She moved back to the Bay Area and joined the child life department at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland. Maddie had the unique opportunity to initiate a Child Life position within the Emergency Department in 2016. She founded Child Life Now in 2017 and continues to work as an ambassador for the field of child life.




(15 minutes with caregivers and 60 minutes with child/teen)




Session fees includes all supplies and email follow-up* with caregivers.

Mileage fee of 55¢/mile will be added for in-home sessions outside of 94803.

Confidentiality is maintained for all clients 11 years and older unless the client is at risk or has granted permission for our Child Life Specialists to share session information with caregivers.