Summary of Child Performer Regulations

NYCRR – Part 186, Child Performers became effective on April 1, 2013.

The authority to make regulations is established by Labor Law § 154-a.  Child Performers are also regulated by the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law, the Estates, Powers and Trusts Law, and the Education Law.

These regulations establish new responsibilities for employers, as well as parents/guardians of child performers. The following outline summarizes the most significant provisions of the new regulations. Please review the Regulations, see the Child Performer FAQs, and access the applications and forms for more detailed information.


Part 186 newly establishes the following:

Child Performer Permit: If an employer has a Certificate of Group Eligibility, and a performer is employed as part of a group to form a background scene for example, then a performer does not need a Child Performer Permit for that performance. Permits are still required for employment in individual performances. Permit applications are processed free of charge. For a permit to be valid for paid employment, parents must attach trust account information to the child performer permit when presented to the employer.

The Application for a Child Performer Permit (LS 561) now must include:

            -  a certification of physical fitness of the child performer 
            -  an acknowledgement that a parent or guardian has reviewed eating disorder information via the Department’s website
            -  a physical description of the performer 
            -  evidence that a trust account has been established and/or is current 


Responsible Person: A Responsible Person must be designated to monitor the activity and safety of each child performer under the age of 16 at the work place. A responsible person must be at least 18 years old and can be the parent/guardian of the performer. A responsible person can supervise more than one performer but for performers employed under a Certificate of Group Eligibility, one responsible person may supervise no more than 20 performers. Under certain circumstances, an employer must designate a responsible person and/or make other arrangements for the responsible person to monitor the performer. In such cases, an agreement between the parent/guardian and employer on the employer’s designee should be in writing.

Nurse: An employer must provide a nurse (with pediatric experience), and a responsible person, for each three or fewer performers between the age of 15 days and six weeks. For child performers between six weeks and six months of age, one nurse and one responsible person must be provided for each ten or fewer infants.

Permitted Work Hours and Ages of Performers: Permitted work hours for child performers are based on the performer’s age, and the type of performance (live or not live). It is prohibited to employ a child performer who is not at least 15 days old. Employers must provide meal periods and at least 10 minutes of the required rest time for every four hours worked. Employers must provide reasonable space for meals, rest and recreation. See LS 559 for details.

Education Requirements: Employers must familiarize themselves with Part 186.5, which contains new requirements related to a child performer’s education and employer provided instruction. Regulations detail employer responsibilities regarding providing teachers for instruction, dedicated space for instruction, etc.

Health and Safety: Employers must provide safety based instruction and information to performers, parents/guardians and responsible persons. The information and orientation provided must contain specific information about potential hazards at the worksite and for the performance. Employers must obtain emergency contact information and authorization to perform emergency medical treatment for all performers. Form LS 563 may be used for this purpose.

Employer Certificate of Group Eligibility: Employers may employ groups of performers under the age of 18 for no more than two days for performances such as background activity or crowd scenes. The performers of such a group do not need Child Performer Permits. Employers of groups must apply to the Department for a Certificate of Group Eligibility (LS 553) and the cost is $200.00. The Group Certificate is only valid for two days, but the days do not have to be consecutive. For performers employed under a Certificate of Group Eligibility an employer must gather and maintain information about each performer, including parental consent to perform. Form LS 563 can be used for this purpose.

Recordkeeping: Employers must maintain records such as: hours worked, wages paid, trust account transfers, copies of permits and certificates, education hours, etc.   Employers must keep Employer Certificate(s) and Child Performer Permits on file, at the worksite.

Notice of Use of Child Performers: Employers of child performers must provide a “Notice of Use” (LS 556) to the Department of Labor by fax, at least two business days before employment begins. This requirement does not apply to employers of groups of performers.

Variance Application:  Employers can apply for a variance from a specific section(s) of the Regulations if complying with a certain provision creates a hardship. Applications may be faxed, and must be sent to the Department no later than two business days prior to the day the requested changes would take effect. Applications are processed free of charge. Employers must use LS 557 to apply.