BizParentz Foundation

Supporting families of children working in the entertainment industry

New York

Return to State Laws - Child Actors main page

New York Rules take effect April 1, 2013 


Highlights include:

  • Work hours specific to each industry. 
  • “Responsible Person” – Parent can appoint himself or herself to be responsible person, or even appoint another parent, with a provision for live theatre that in many respects maintains and enhances established live theatre traditions. Responsible person to be within sight OR sound of the child. Entity (production company/employer, etc.) shall assess whether the person to be designated is familiar with the hours and working conditions and shall conduct a check of New York State and national sex offender registries, and shall consider the results in accordance with Article 23-A of the Correction Law.  
  • Work Permit valid only when trust account information attached preventing lost pay for child. Mirrors CA regulation. 
  • Reasonable provisions for ‘reality tv’ participants. 
  • Health Certificates – NY Department of Labor has assured us that the certifications will mirror the language now used by schools for athletic clearances
  • Education regulations can found in Part 186.5. Please read them carefully as each child’s circumstances are unique.

See also excellent information at for details and the history of the development of the rules.

 1/29/2011   BizParentz letter of Opposition to Proposed New York Rules proposed in 2010.
Read here:  BizParentzNewYorkRules.pdf


New York Child Performer Education and Trust Act of 2003

aka S.4696 / A.7510 (Vellela)

Update July 2007: The NY Department of Labor has made changes to the child work permit application. Please refer to the DOL website before submitting your child's work permit application or renewal!

This law took effect on March 28, 2004 and was supported by SAG, AFTRA and AEA. The law combines the general concepts of a Coogan law along with some education for children in the entertainment industry (including theatre, television and film, and music). The law applies whether the child is paid for their work or not, and it applies to all work performed in NY , regardless of the child's state of residence. Since the law is fairly new, there are still some interpretations being made, and there is currently an amendment being proposed that would clarify the education components of the law (see below).

The New York Child Performer law does the following things:

  1. Transfers the management of child performer issues from the CITY of New York , to the New York STATE Department of Labor (in Albany ).
  2. Creates an Certificate of Eligibility to Employ Child Performers (aka Employer Permit) for the employer at a cost of $350. The employer's certificate is good for 3 years.
  3. Codifies the 6 month work permit for children working in the entertainment industry. In years past. NY children had to get a permit for each job. Now the permits are good for 6 months for an unlimited number of jobs. They are also now tied to academic performance at the child's school of enrollment. Additionally, the state instituted a one-time 15 day emergency permit and an on-line system to apply for those 15 day permits.
    1. NEW Work Permit Application Form as of 06/07:
    2. One time, 15 day permit, available on-line only:
  4. Creates a Coogan-like system for child performers. This system has a very significant difference from California 's Coogan law—in NY, the funds are not blocked . The NY accounts are simply trust savings accounts (UTMA or UGMA), so the parents can use the money for any expense on behalf of the child. Because of this difference, the NY “Coogan” accounts are not acceptable in California (the money is really not protected). In NY, 15% of the minors earnings should be with held by the employer and deposited into the account set up by the parent. The employer has 30 days from the start of employment to deposit the money into your child's trust account. If the money goes unpaid presumably because the parent did not provide their account information to the employer) then the 15% will go to the State of NY Child Performer 's Holding Fund.
    1. Specific requirements about Trust accounts (aka “NY Coogan” accounts):
  5. Provides for education in some instances. This is the area where the greatest controversy and confusion about this law seems to be. As the law is written, child performers must comply with the regular attendance and performance requirements of any other NY state child. For child performers, the employer must provide a certified teacher “ if the child is unable to meet such education requirements due to his or her employment schedule ”. Determining the “IF” is the problem. Although the law itself is a bit murky on this subject, the NY state website is saying that "Generally a teacher is only required if the child will miss more than two consecutive days of school". Read here The SAG contracts generally require a studio teacher on the third day. Theatres, who work in the evening or who have multiple casts, will attest that their minor employees “could” go to regular school during the day despite long work hours. This is where an amendment is likely to provide clarification. The intent of the law seems to be that when a child works, the “studio teacher”, the parent and the child's regular school of enrollment are supposed to work together. Absences from regular school are only EXCUSED if the employer is providing a studio teacher (which may be a problem with Regents requirements), not whenever the child works. This law also establishes for the first time, that the child's school of enrollment has control over the work permit process...they must sign the work permit. The parent no longer has complete control over whether their child is eligible to work or not.

PDF link to the law itself:

General Information about this law from the New York State Department of Labor including FAQ's, current DOL interpretations,
employer links, etc.: