Q: What are the education requirements that apply to child performers?
A: The section of the child performer regulations that detail the educational requirements is subpart 186-5. Education, attendance, and academic requirements are determined by the school district where the child performer resides, or the private school that he or she attends.
Q: To whom do educational requirements apply?
A: Educational requirements apply to all child performers except for child performers employed under an Employer Certificate of Group Eligibility.
Q: What are some of the basics of the education requirements?
A: In order to obtain or renew a Child Performer Permit, child performers must provide proof of satisfactory academic performance (the child performer's school determines what satisfactory academic performance is). Child performers may attend regular school, be homeschooled, distance educated, or under certain circumstances, be educated by an employer-provided teacher. School officials, in cooperation with the parent or guardian, have the authority to develop alternative methods by which a child performer may satisfy his or her educational requirements. A child performer receiving instruction from an employer-provided teacher must not be declared absent from school while working pursuant to the permitting and educational requirements of the Child Performer regulations. The school district in which the child performer resides and attends determines whether it will accept the student's work, grades and or credit completed, as meeting educational requirements.
Q: In California, a child who has graduated from high school does not need to get a work permit and is not subject to hours limitations. Does New York State take the same approach?
A: No. In New York State, graducation from high school does not exempt a minor from:
Q: When should an employer provide a teacher for the child performer?
A: Employers must provide for a child performer's education when the school district in which the child performer resides or the private school that he or she attends is in session and when the child is not otherwise receiving instruction due to his/her employment schedule.
Q: When does the education requirement start for child performers who may work during a season and the workdays may not be consecutive?
A: The days counted as missed instruction days are based on the duration of the production, not a season, or a contract. If a child performer will miss 3 or more consecutive days of instruction, then the employer must provide education from the 1st day of employment throughout the remainder of employment in the production. However, if the first 3 days of missed educational instruction are not consecutive, then the employer must provide for education from the 3rd day of employment throughout the remainder of employment in the production.
Q: Does an employer have to provide a teacher for all child performers?
A: No, an employer does not need to provide a teacher for child performers who are homeschooled or distance educated if they are receiving adequate instruction.
Q: Is the employer required to provide education on a workday in which a child performer attends regular school?
A: No. However, on any day that the child performer attends regular school, the employer shall count no more than three of the hours the child spent at school as school time. In other words, an employer may not attempt to "bank" the hours a child spent at his or her regular school.
Q: Does a child performer have to provide written school consent to allow for extension of the workday for less than two consecutive days, or would the permit cover those days?
A: A child performer permit does not serve as "permission" to be absent from school days. Missed school days must be arranged with the child performer's school.
Q: Does the employer have to provide for education time if a performer works late and has school the next day?
A: Yes, the performer must be instructed the following day at the employer's place of business if the school that the child performer usually attends starts:
Q: How much education time is required during the workday?
A: Time for education must average at least 3 hours per school day, each week. A minimum of 1 hour of instruction must be provided each school day. A period of less than 20 minutes is not counted as school time.
Q: Can extra teaching time be banked?
A: Yes, extra teaching time, above 3 hours per day may be banked and spent on another day in the same week or another week. No more than 5 hours of banked time may be carried over from week to week.
Q: Is there a limit on how long banked hours may be kept in the bank for use in another week?
A: No, assuming the minimum and average hours requirements are met, and there is a reasonable balance between work, education and rest periods, there is no limit on how long banked hours may remain available for use.
Q: Is there a circumstance where more than 5 education hours can be banked for use in another week?
Q: Is there a maximum amount of hours allowed in the bank?
A: Yes, the maximum amount of hours allowed in the bank is 5 hours.
Q: Is there a maximum amount of allowable school hours in any given day?
A: No, there is no maximum amount of allowable school hours on any given day. These regulations were drafted to help ensure that child performers have a balance of work, rest, and education. Employers need to abide by the "Hours and Days of Work" section of the regulations (see LS-559 for a summary). If the Department received complaints about such situations, we will examine them in light of this balance.
Q: Does an employer have to provide a teacher during times when no work is available?
A: When the child performer's school is in session, the employer must continute to provide a teacher during a hiatus or lay off period lasting 6 days or less:
Q: Does the employer have to provide space for instruction?
A: Yes, the employer needs to set aside space where instruction, tutoring and study can take place. The space should be clean, well lit, and have sufficient work surfaces, chairs, equipment and supplies necessary for instruction. During periods of instruction, tutoring and study, the space set aside must be used only for study. Other people are not allowed in the instruction space, except for a responsible person, if the teacher and production company approve. A parent, guardian or other person tutoring a home-schooled child must also be provided appropriate space.
Q: Does the employer-provided teacher need specific qualifications?
A: Yes, the employer-provided teacher must be certified or have credentials recognized by the State of New York. An employer must also check the teacher's status on the New York State and national sex offender registries, and the results shall be considered in accordance with Article 23-A of the Correction Law.
Q: How does an employer know which states' teacher credentials and education requirements apply to a performer?
A: Education requirements are based upon the school district in which the child performer resides or the private school he or she attends. For example, a child performer's school district is in California, where he/she resides, however, he/she is currenlty working on a production in New York. In that case, California teacher credentials are acceptable without submitting an Application for a Variance from the Child Performer Regulations (LS-557) since the educational requirements for the child are based in California. The reverse would apply for a New York resident-performer working on location in California.
Q: Can a child performer covered by these regulations be educated by a teacher with another state's credentials?
A: Yes, if the teacher's credentials are recognized by New York State.
Q: How can I find out if a teacher's credentials are recognized by NYS?
A: The best way to find out is to contact the child performer's local school.
Q: How can I find out if New York State recognizes another state's teacher credentials?
A: A listing can be found, by certificate, at the website of the New York State Education Department:
Q: Does an employer need to check the New York State and national sex offender registries each time we hire or rehire a studio teacher or employ a responsible person?
Q: Can an employer-provided teacher instruct more than 1 performer?
A: The employer must provide at least 1 teacher for every 10 children, or fraction thereof.
Q: Can a teacher instruct performers of different ages?
A: Yes, if the teacher is appropriately certified or otherwise competent to teach students in the applicable grade ranges and subject areas, which is determined by the school in which the children are enrolled.
Q: Who decides what subjects should be taught?
A: It is the responsibility of the child performer's school, parent or guardian, and the provided teacher to work together to determine and carry out the child performer's education plan and curriculum.
Q: Does an employer-provided teacher have to prepare and send reports?
A: Yes, the teacher must prepare written reports for each student taught. Reports must include dates and hours of attendance, lesson plans performed, and grades. The teacher must give, or send reports to the minor's parent/guardian and the school district in which the minor resides or attends. The school decides how frequently a teacher must provide the reports; however, teachers must always send reports at the end of a minor's employment.
Q: What information does an employer-provided teacher have to provide to employers?
A: A teacher must give the employer a copy of the record of dates and hours of instruction for each child performer. The teacher shall not give the employer any other information without first obtaining written parental consent.
Q: Can a performer's teacher consult with the employer about the performer's educational needs, for example advanced math, without obtaining written consent?
A: No. The regulations require that a parent give written permission before a teacher discusses a child performer's education with the employer. The written consent, however, may cover a number of topics allowing a teacher/educator to effectively meet the educational needs of the child performer.
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