Child and Young Performer Licensing Information

The Mandy Network Guide to Child Performers' Legislation

If your child or client is young enough to be in compulsory education and about to participate in paid performance, you will need to apply for a license through the Education and Welfare Officer in the borough or local authority where the child performer goes to school.

Licenses are a joint responsibility of the parent and the producer/employer, with each of these two parties having a separate form to fill in. You should be able to get an idea of what information is required by going to any local authority's website.

"If you allow a child to take part in an unlicensed performance, or fail to comply with any conditions attached to your licence, you are committing an offence and may be fined up to £1,000, imprisoned for up to three months or both."
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Original text of the new Child Performance & Activities Regulations 2014 which came into force on the 6th February 2015 is available here.

A really useful resource is the National Network for Children in Employment & Entertainment - > NNCEE. It's great for giving a summary of crucial child employment facts (e.g. details like maximum hours and latest times) and different licenses types, but your contact at the council will be able to give you the specific details for your production.

The feedback we've received from Education and Welfare Officers can be summarised like this:

  • Be organised. Licenses can usually be granted in fewer than 21 days, but allow this much time to be on the safe side.
  • Always give the information requested. Fail to do this, and you'll be playing paperwork tennis and delaying your application.
  • Be honest and be safe!

This may seem like obvious advice, but the power and importance of playing by the rules here really can't be underestimated!

Information last updated: September 2016. This article is intended to be used as a guide only and we ask that you contact your local authority for the most up to date, accurate information.


Photo by isaacbowen via Flickr under a creative commons license.