Protecting Young Performers in California

Did you know that a number of states do not have adequate laws in place to protect young performers? This comes as a surprise to many parents, especially those whose children are just entering the business. States without such protections are forced to rely on SAG-AFTRA to dictate working conditions for young performers.

With Hollywood being the hub of our nation's film industry, it is fortunate that California is not one of the states lacking in child protection laws. Parents of young performers in Hollywood productions can rest easier knowing that California has enacted robust regulations and requirements designed to protect minors. In addition to promoting the safety of children in motion pictures, these laws also extend to virtually every aspect of the entertainment industry including stage productions, radio, television, print, and the Internet.

In 2012, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law requiring background checks and fingerprinting of those who work directly with minors in the film industry. Surprisingly, this was the first law of its kind in the nation.

California’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement offers a series of protections to young performers by regulating their employment. They require both Entertainment Work Permits and Child Performer Services Permits (CSP). Anyone who provides services for a fee to minors in California must apply for a CSP. This includes managers, PR agents, career counselors, photographers, and coaches. Parents should do their research to make sure that all service providers working with their children have obtained their CSP.

For more information on the California Child Performer Services Permit, visit:

California also specifies the number of hours minors can work based upon age during schooldays and non-schooldays. If your child is a minor in first through twelfth grades, his or her academic records and attendance must be authorized by a school official. For parents with children ages 12 to 17, here is a handy chart outlining acceptable work hours for minors in California:

California also mandates that a ... "minor’s education will not be neglected or hampered by his or her participation in the performance, concert, or entertainment." (Source: State of California Department of Industrial Relations) In California, studio teachers are empowered not only to provide education, but to attend to "the health, safety and morals of minors under sixteen ..."

It's exciting when your child lands a dream role in a motion picture. Before you get on the set, take the time to review the state's child labor laws to be sure your young performer is safe and protected.

For more information on academic requirements and studio teachers in California and other states, contact us here.