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Child Performer Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who must have a Child Performer Permit?

 A:  Any person under the age of 18 who renders creative or artistic services in New York State as a performer or; any New York   resident under the age of 18 who renders creative or artistic services anywhere outside New York State

Q: If a child is not paid, is he/she required to possess a Child Performer Permit?

 A:  Yes.

Q: Who does not need a Child Performer Permit?

 A:  Permits are not required for:

  • The use, exhibition or employment of child performers at any church, academy, or school (including dancing schools) as part of regular services or activities or in annual graduation exercises
  • Performances in a private home
  • Performances in any place under the direction, control or supervision of the Department of Education
  • Amateur performances of children of less than two (2) hours per week from the studios of a regularly licensed broadcasting company, that occur when the child or children does not need to be in school
  • Broadcasts of children from a: 
     - School 
     - Church 
     - Academy 
     - Museum 
     - Library 
     - Any other religious, civic or educational institution
  • Performers who are employed under an Employer Certificate of Group Eligibility as part of a group for example, to establish a background scene or in a choir

Q: Is there a fee for a Child performer Permit?

 A:  No.

Q: What is the parent/guardian responsible for?

 A:  A Parent/Guardian must:

  • Get a Child Performer Permit before work begins, and give a copy to each employer
  • Provide all required documentation with the 1-year permit application for example: proof of satisfactory academic performance and a certification of physical fitness.
  • Renew the permit for the child performer 30 days prior to expiration
  • Establish a child performer trust account, unless one already exists
  • Notify the child performer's employer of:
    - the existence of the account including any information needed to make transfers
    - any change in facts that could affect the employer's obligation to make transfers
    - if they wish to transfer more than 15% of the child performer's gross earnings to the trust account
  • Appoint a trust company as custodian of the account once the balance reaches $250,000
  • Work with the child performer, any certified teacher provided by the employer and with the child's school to make sure that the child maintains good academic performance
  • Make sure that a child performer required to attend school is not without a teacher and unemployed for longer than ten (10) consecutive days while the school is in session

Q: Do I need to set up a Child Performer Trust Account in New York State?

 A:  A trust account may be set up anywhere, as long as:
  • It is set up as required by New York State Law
  • The employer can complete the required transactions
  • It meets the standards required by a New York State Uniform Transfer to Minors Act Trust Account (UTMA) or a New York State Uniform Gift to Minors Act Trust (UGMA) account or is a blocked “California Coogan” type account.

Q: What do I need to submit to the Department of Labor to prove the existence of a trust account?

 A:  For trust account verification, provide a single document such as a copy of a deposit slip, passbook or other official document showing:
  • The child's name
  • The parent's/guardian's or custodian's name
  • The account number
  • The document must show the type of trust account (i.e. UTMA, UGMA)
  • The financial institution's name
  • The address of the Child Performer’s branch of the financial institution (this item only may be written in by hand)

Q: How can I obtain a Child Performer Permit?

 A:  There are two ways to get a permit:
  • Get a copy of the Child Performer Permit Combined Application LS-561 here. Once you complete the application, mail it to the address on the form along with the needed documentation.
  • If the child has never obtained a NYS Child Performer Permit before, you can obtain an online, one time only, 15-day permit here.  To successfully complete the 15-Day Online Permit Application, you must print the permit from your computer printer after you enter all the required information. This temporary permit will allow the child performer to work for 15 days. This gives parents time to complete, document and mail their application to obtain a standard 1-year Child Performer Permit. All other applications are submitted by mail.

Q: What information is required on the application form?

 A:  You must provide the following information along with certain attachments. See the application instructions for more detail.
  • Child Performer identifying information including identification
  • Parent/Guardian identifying information including identification
  • Education/Academic Status information
  • Trust account information
  • Physical fitness certification
  • Acknowledgement and declaration

Q: Where should I send the completed application and attachments?

 A:  Send completed permit application forms to:


            New York State Department of Labor
            Division of Labor Standards
            Permit and Certificate Unit, Room 266A
            State Office Campus, Bldg 12
            Albany, NY 12240

Q: How long are Child Performer Permits valid?

 A:  A Child Performer permit is valid for one (1) year. You can renew a permit 30 days before the expiration date.

Q: Why must parents/guardians open a trust account for their child?

 A:  The law says that employers must deposit at least 15% of the performer's earnings in a trust account. If the employer does not receive any trust account information within 15 days of the start of employment, the employer must turn this money over to the State Comptroller. The Comptroller will hold the money in the child performer's name until he/she reaches the age of majority. The law does not allow the Department of Labor to issue a 1-year Child Performer Permit to a child performer unless trust account information is provided with the application.

Q: Can the parent/guardian ask the employer to deposit more than 15% in the trust account?

 A:  Yes, 15% is the minimum amount that the employer must transfer.

Q: Do I have to deposit residual payments made to a child performer into a trust account? 

 A:  Yes, but only for work performed after March 28, 2004 (effective date of the Child Performer Education and Trust Act).

Q: Where can I ask questions about Child Performer withholdings sent to the NYS Office of State Comptroller?

 A:    Office of the State Comptroller
        110 State Street, 9th Floor
        Albany, NY 12236
        Tel: (518) 486-1240

Q: Is an employer required to provide a teacher to all child performers?

 A:  No. An employer does not have to provide teachers to performers who are homeschooled, to distance educated students receiving appropriate instruction, or to children employed under a certificate of group eligibility.

Q: When is an employer required to provide a teacher for a child performer?

 A:  When school is in session, and on school days when the performer is not receiving instruction due to his/her employment schedule, an employer must provide instruction:

  • from the third day of missed instruction through the remainder of the child’s employment in the production; or
  • from the first day of missed educational instruction through the remainder of the child’s employment in the production if the child was guaranteed three or more consecutive days of employment

Q: How can I find out if a teacher’s credentials are recognized by NYS?

 A:  The best way to find out is to contact the child performer’s local school

Q: Where can I find a listing of the states with which NYS has reciprocity of teacher credentials?

 A:  A listing of states with which NYS has reciprocity of teacher credentials can be found on the web site of the New York State Department of Education at http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/home.html


Q: In California, a child who has graduated from High School does not need to get a work permit and is not subject to hours limitations. Does New York State take the same approach?

 A:  No. In New York State, graduation from High School does not exempt a minor from:

  • needing a Child Performer Permit or
  • following the hours of limitations imposed by regulations

However, if you provide proof that a child performer has finished High School, then you no longer need to include the Academic Performance Verification Form LS-560 with applications to renew the child performer's permit.

Q: I am the child performer's agent, manager or employer. Can I apply for a permit on the child's behalf?

 A:  No, but you can help fill out the application. Every application form still requires a declaration and signature from the child performer's parent or guardian.

Q: What are the permitted work hours for child performers?

 A:  Work hours are based on type of performance, age of the performer, and whether or not school is in session. See the LS-559 Permitted Working Hours chart.

Q: Who needs an Employer Certificate of Eligibility to Employ Child Performers, or a Certificate of Group Eligibility to Employ Child Performers?

 A:  Any person or entity that employs a child performer in New York State to furnish artistic or creative services either directly or through a third party provider (loan-out company) or through an agency or service that provides artistic or creative services (casting agency) must have an Employer Certificate of Eligibility or Certificate of Group Eligibility.

Q: If on a project where there are multiple employers (payroll companies, production companies etc.) which one needs a Certificate of Eligibility to Employ Child Performers?

 A:  Any entity that does one or more of the following must have a Certificate of Eligibility:

  1. Employs a child performer to furnish artistic or creative services either directly or through a third party provider
  2. Has "control" over the child performer's worksite
    • For example: any entity that sets the hours of work (rehearsal or performance)
  3. Contracts with the payroll service (in cases where payroll services are used to pay performers)

Q: What is an Employer Certificate of Group Eligibility?

 A:  It is the certificate, which allows an employer to employ performers, not as individuals but as a group to establish a background scene, such as a choir, etc. for two days only.

Q: What is the employer of Child Performers responsible for?

 A:  Employer responsibilities are outlined in more detail on page 3 of the application LS-550. Among the employer responsibilities are:

  • Read and understand Regulations Part 186 Child Performers
  • Make trust account transfers for paid employment to the performer’s trust account, or to the NYS Comptroller if the parent/guardian did not provide the trust account information
  • Maintain proper records and keep permits and certificate on file
  • Obtain emergency contact information and authorization to perform emergency medical treatment from parent/guardian of performers LS-563
  • Designate a responsible person(s) as required for performers under age 16 and provide a nurse(s) for infants, or obtain written designation from parent/guardian as required
  • Provide safety and health information to performers, parents/guardians and responsible persons
  • Provide meal and rest breaks and abide by permitted working hours for child performers

Q: Under an Employer Certificate of Eligibility, what is the employer of a group of performers responsible for?

 A:  Group employer responsibilities are outlined in more detail on page 3 of the application LS-553. Among the employer responsibilities are:

  • Read and understand Regulations Part 186 Child Performers
  • Make trust account transfers for paid employment to the performer’s trust account, or to the NYS Comptroller if the parent/guardian did not provide the trust account information
  • Obtain performer information, emergency contact information, authorization to perform emergency medical treatment, and permission to perform from parent/guardian of performers LS-563
  • Maintain proper records, keep performer information and certificate(s) on file
  • Designate at least one responsible person for every 20 performers, or fraction thereof, under age 16 and also provide a nurse(s) for infants as required
  • Provide safety and health information to performers, parents/guardians and responsible persons
  • Provide meal and rest breaks and abide by permitted working hours for child performers

Q: I am an out-of state employer. Do I still need to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility?

 A:  You only need to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility to Employ Child Performers or a Certificate of Group Eligibility if the performance takes place in New York State

Q: I am an out-of-state employer employing a child performer who is a resident of NYS at a work location which is not in NYS.  Do I need to abide by the Child Performer Regulations?

 A:  If you have a business office in New York State, and the Child Performer is a New York State resident you do not need an Employer Certificate of Eligibility however, you must abide by the trust and educational provisions of the Regulations.

Q: I am a student making a film as part of a school project. I am not paying the child performers in the film. Do I need to get a Certificate of Eligibility to Employ Child Performers?

 A:  No, you do not need a certificate if you are not paying any of the child performers.

Q: How can I obtain an Application For A Certificate of Eligibility to Employ Child Performers?

 A:  Click here for the application - LS-550

Q: How can I obtain an Application for a Certificate of Group Eligibility to Employ Child Performers?

 A:  Click here for the application - LS-553

Q: Where should I send completed application forms?

 A:  Send completed applications to:

New York State Department of Labor
Division of Labor Standards
Permit and Certificate Unit Rm. 266A
State Office Campus, Bldg. 12,
Albany, NY 12240

Q: Is there an application fee for a Certificate of Eligibility to Employ Child Performers?

 A:  Yes. Checks or money orders should be made payable to the Commissioner of Labor.

Application fees are:

  • Theater capacity of 1 to 499 seats:
    - Initial Registration Fee - $200.00
    - Renewal Fee - $200.00
  • All others:
    - Initial Registration Fee - $350.00
    - Renewal Fee - $200.00
  • Group Employer - $200.00

Q: For what period are Certificates of Eligibility to Employ Child Performers valid?

 A:  A Certificate of Eligibility to Employ Child Performers is valid for up to three (3) years. A Certificate of Group Eligibility to Employ Child Performers is valid for two days only.

Q: What information is required on the application forms?

 A:  Detailed instructions are listed in the application. In general, an employer must list:

  • Employer identifying information
  • Employment information
  • Proof of Workers’ Compensation and Disability Insurance, or proof of exemption
  • Declaration and Acknowledgement
  • Check or money order for the proper amount.

Q: How do I get proof of Workers’ Compensation and Disability Insurance, or proof of exemption?

 A:  Forms C-105.2 and DB-120.1 show proof of coverage for NYS employers and can be obtained from you insurance carrier or: Form CE-200 stating that you do not need New York State Workers' Compensation and/or Disability Insurance coverage can be obtained from any district office of the Workers' Compensation Board or from their web site at http://www.wcb.ny.gov/content/main/Forms.jsp

Q. Which regulations will apply to child models when the new law takes effect?

A. The Child Performer regulations will apply to all child models. The Department of Education regulations for child models promulgated on December 3, 1962 will no longer apply after the new law takes effect.

Q. Will the Department be promulgating new regulations before the new law takes effect?

A. No.  The Department of Labor has determined that no new regulations are necessary to implement the new law. The Department's existing Child Performer regulations already covered certain child models.  When the new law takes effect, the Child Performer regulations will apply to all child models.

Q: If I have any other questions, where can I get help?

 A:  Call the Permit and Certificate Unit of the Division of Labor Standards at (518) 457-1942.  You also can send your questions by e-mail to: CPinfo@labor.ny.gov   

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