Apply for a child employment licence

Use this guide to find relevant child employment and chaperone licences and permits.

Apply for a child performance licence

An entertainment licence is required for performances in which children are due to work on set days with a specific production company. A child may need a performance licence if they are under the school leaving age and take part in:

  • films
  • plays
  • concerts
  • other public performances that the audience pays to see
  • any sporting events or modelling assignments where the child is paid.

Who can use this service?

The person running the performance or sporting event must apply for a child performance licence. They must do this at least 10 days before the event.

As the child's parent or guardian, you must also fill in a section of the form. See the document below for guidance:

It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that we receive a fully completed licence application and all the required documents. We must receive these no later than 10 days before the first date of the child’s performance. We may reject an application if these requirements are not met.

What you need to know

See During the COVID-19 pandemic.

Licensing arrangements for children who are resident in England and film in the UK, and children who are resident abroad but filming in England are set out in the Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014

Making an application

Complete applications must be received no later than 10 days before the first date of the child’s performance. Late applications will be refused.

Incomplete applications will be refused and you will be required to resubmit the complete application before the deadline.

A complete application needs to contain the following items:

  • completed application form (link below)
  • covid-19 risk assessment
  • production company's safeguarding policy
  • chaperone licence(s) (if applicable)
  • school letter (if applicable)
  • child's birth certificate

Apply for a licence for a child working in entertainment (PDF, 424KB)

Next steps

Once you have completed the form, please send it with all the required documents to the Child Employment Team.

Licences are usually issued two to three working days before the performance. If there are any problems with your application, we will contact you within two working days.

Cost for this service

There are no costs for this service.


Sometimes you may not need to apply for an entertainment licence. If you are not sure, please check our guidance document:

Application guidance for performance licences, body of persons approvals and exemption requests (PDF, 226KB)

A child may be exempt from needing a licence if they:

  • have not worked six months before performing
  • are not performing in school time
  • are not being paid.

However, the applicant will need to fill in an exemption form.

Exemption application form (PDF, 25KB)