Child Model Frequently Asked Questions

Child Model
Frequently Asked Questions
Question Answer
What does this bill do? This bill amended various sections of Law so that child models are now considered Child Performers and are provided with the same protections.
Who is a child model covered by this new legislation? Print and runway models under the age of 18 who live or work in New York. (Models in film and TV are already protected as child performers.)
Does a child model need a permit? Yes. Child models must have a Child Performer Permit issued by the Department of Labor before they begin work. A Child Performer Permit is valid for 1 year and is free.
Does all print and runway modeling require a permit?

No. A permit is not required if the modeling occurs: at any church, academy or school as part of regular services or activities or in an annual graduation exercise; in a private home; or in any place under the direction, control or supervision of the Department of Education.

How can I obtain a Child Performer Permit?

There are two ways to get a permit:

  • Get a copy of the Application for a Child Performer Permit 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 the parent time to obtain the required documents and apply for the annual Child Performer permit online.
What information is required on the application form?

A child model’s parent or legal guardian 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
  • Health form
  • Acknowledgement and declaration
Where should I send the completed application and attachments?

Send completed permit application forms to:

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

Must a child model be a good student? A parent or guardian must provide evidence that the child model is maintaining satisfactory academic performance or is no longer required by law to be in school when applying for a child performer permit.
Must a child model meet health standards? There must be proof from a medical professional that the child has been examined within the last year and that the child can model without harm to his or her health.
Where do the child model’s earnings go? A parent or guardian must set up a trust account for a child model and an employer must assure that at least 15% of the child model’s earnings are put into that trust account.

Must an employer have a permit?

An employer who engages a child model to work in New York State must have a Certificate of Eligibility issued by the Department of Labor prior to employing a child model and must notify the Department of Labor at least 2 days before they are going to employ a child model.  A Certificate of Eligibility is valid for 3 years.
Are the work hours of a child performer restricted The total daily and weekly hours worked by a child model must be limited, depending on the age of the child and whether or not the child is required to attend school. For specifics regarding print or runway model working hours see the LS 559.
Why does the new law permit a child model to work during school hours when the old law provided that a child model could not work during school hours? This law provides more protections for child models than the old law.  With regard to education, the law provides for adequate schooling and considers the academic standing of each child.
Does a child model need a tutor

When the child attends public or private school, employers must provide for a child performer’s education while the child’s school is in session and when the child is not otherwise receiving instruction due to his/her employment schedule. Instruction must take place from the 1st day of missed educational instruction through the remainder of the child’s employment in the production, if the child was guaranteed 3 or more consecutive days of employment or from the 3rd day of missed educational instruction through the remainder of the child’s employment in the production. (Children that are home or distanced schooled are not covered by these same requirements, but must meet educational criteria required by education laws.)

What if the child model is from a different state or country?

A child model that works in New York State must fulfill the educational requirements of his or her home school, even if it is located in a different country. 

Can a child model be alone on a set or runway? No.  A responsible person, designated by the parent or guardian, must be at work with the child model if the model is under age 16.
How does the law address eating disorders? As part of the permit application, the Department of Labor gets a certification from a medical professional attesting that the child model is fit to work.  The Department of Labor also requires that a parent or guardian review certain information about eating disorders before applying for a child performer permit.
What happens if an employer does not comply with the law? The Employer’s Certificate of Eligibility may be suspended or revoked.  In addition, the Department of Labor may assess civil penalties of up to $1,000 for the 1st violation, $2,000 for the 2nd violation and $3,000 for the 3rd violation.
What happens if a parent/guardian does not comply with the law? The Department may suspend or revoke a Child Performer Permit for good cause.
Will the Department be promulgating new regulations before the new law takes effect? 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. 
Which regulations will apply to child models when the new law takes effect? 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.
Where can I find more information?

You can find many more FAQs, forms, and other information for child models on our website