Children in entertainment

Multi licence application: We are experiencing some technical issues with the online multi licence application. If you would like to apply for a multi licence please email your documents to childemploymentandentertainment@kent.gov.uk. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. We hope to have this issue fixed as soon as possible.

If a child of school age or below is involved in performances, they must be licensed and properly chaperoned.

Read the GOV.UK guidance on child performance and activities: licensing legislation.

Find out more about child employment. If you have any questions or need advice email childemploymentandentertainment@kent.gov.uk

A licence is required if a performance meets the following criteria:

  • it takes place on licensed premises
  • is broadcast, filmed or recorded for public exhibition
  • a charge is made (even if there is no admission charge).

A licence is also required if the child:

  • performs for more than 3 days in 6 months
  • is being paid
  • requires time off from school.

It is illegal for the child to perform without a licence.

Performances arranged by schools that take place in the school do not need to be licensed. This does not include dance schools.

Read about new regulations for children in entertainment.

Children should not take part in performances or rehearsals:

  • on more than 6 consecutive days
  • for more than 8 consecutive weeks without an interval of 2 weeks
  • more than once a day if attending school that day
  • without an interval of 1 hour 30 minutes between 2 performances on the same day
  • without an interval of 12 hours between the end of an evening performance and the start of the following day.

Times and hours for children aged 9+

The child must not be at the premises:

  • for more than 9 hours 30 minutes in 1 day (including tuition)
  • before 7am at the earliest
  • after 11pm at the latest.

While the child is at the performance premises they:

  • can perform for a maximum of 2 hours 30 minutes at a time and 5 hours in total
  • must have at least 2 breaks (45 minutes for a meal and 15 minutes for a break) if they are at the premises for 4 hours or more
  • must have at least 3 breaks (45 minutes for a meal and 2 15 minute breaks) if they are at the premises for 8 hours or more.

Times and hours for children aged 5 - 8

The child must not be at the premises:

  • for more than 8 hours in 1 day (including tuition)
  • before 7am at the earliest
  • after 11pm at the latest.

While the child is at the performance premises they:

  • can perform for a maximum of 2 hours 30 minutes at a time and 3 hours in total
  • must have at least 2 breaks (45 minutes for a meal and 15 minutes for a break) if they are at the premises for more than 4 hours.
  • must have at least 3 breaks (45 minutes for a meal and 2 15 minute breaks) if they are at the premises for 8 hours or more.

Times and hours for children 0 - 4

The child must not be at the premises:

  • for more than 5 hours in 1 day (including tuition)
  • before 7am at the earliest
  • after 10pm at the latest.

While the child is at the performance premises they:

  • can perform for a maximum of 30 minutes at a time and 2 hours in total
  • must have at least 2 breaks (1 hour for a meal and 15 minutes for a break) if they are at the premises for more than 4 hours.

The person responsible for the production needs to apply 21 days before the first performance. However, workload permitting, we may be able to issue a licence within 5 working days. Please call us on 03000 420 883 to ask if this is possible before submitting your application.

Please use the online performance licence application form for both single and multiple licence applications.  If you are submitting a multiple licence application please read the guidance notes (PDF, 286.0 KB) before proceeding.

For each application, the following is required per child – this applies to both single and multiple applications:

Multiple licences must also have the Performance Licence Children’s details spreadsheet (XLSX, 80.7 KB) completed and attached.

Read about new regulations for children in entertainment

Single licence extension

You are able to extend an existing single performance licence using the online application form.  Please select extension when prompted.  You will need to enter the reference number of your existing licence and upload your completed extension request form (DOC, 137.5 KB).  Please note extensions are not available for multiple licences.

Multiple licence application

The online form will allow you to enter the details of up to 10 children at a time. Therefore, for performances with more than 10 children you will need to submit more than one online form. Please read the guidance notes (PDF, 286.0 KB) before proceeding.

A BOPA allows groups and organisations to have an overall licence for their performance. This means you don't need a licence for each individual child.

All performances must comply with the law.

You must apply at least 21 days before the first performance. However, workload permitting, we may be able to issue a licence within 5 working days. Please call us on 03000 420 883, to ask if this is possible before submitting your application.

The criteria for a Body of Persons Approval are:

  • the organisation must have complied with licensing and performance regulations  and have been in contact with the Child Employment team
  • all performances and rehearsals must take place in the area covered by Kent County Council (this does not include Medway, Bexley or Bromley)
  • performances and rehearsals must take place outside of school hours
  • no one should receive payment for taking part in the performance
  • the organisation must have a child safeguarding policy.

How to complete the application

You will need to complete a BOPA  application by following the procedure below:

A BOPA can still be granted even if some of the children do not meet the criteria. For children who do not meet the criteria, you will need to apply for individual licences.

Please complete points 1 and 2 first. These must be saved after completion.

Step 1

1. Body of Persons approval application (DOCX, 21.5 KB)

Step 2

2. Contract of agreement form (DOC, 40.5 KB)

Step 3

3. Online Body of Persons application

The Online Body of Persons application requires you to upload the saved Body of Persons approval application, contract of agreement form and a copy of your child protection policy.

Step 4

4. Notification of performances form (XLSX, 79.5 KB)

The notification of performances spreadsheet can be uploaded when you complete your application. If the notification information is not ready at the time of completing the application, this may also be uploaded and submitted at a later date via the Body of Persons notification form.

The notification of performances form must be completed by each company/group with full details of the children. Please note the spreadsheet needs to be completed in the format it has been set, with all details completed in full, otherwise it will not be accepted.

BOPA applications will no longer be accepted by post or email, it must be applied for using the online application.

If you already have a valid Body of Persons Approval, you will need to notify us of any additional performances you are taking part in within the Kent area. In order to do this you will need to complete step 4 again.

This form can only be used once an application has been made.

If the notification information was not ready at the time of completing your application the notification of performances spreadsheet   (XLSX, 79.5 KB) can be completed and submitted at a later date via the BOPA notification form.

The notification of performances form must be completed by each company/group with full details of the children.  Please note the spreadsheet needs to be completed in the format it has been set, with all details completed in full, otherwise it will not be accepted.

BOPA notifications will not be accepted by post or email. You must apply online.

If you already have a valid Body of Persons Approval, you will need to notify us of any additional performances you are taking part in within the Kent area. Please do this by following the process above.

About the chaperone licence

All children taking part in a licensed performance must be supervised by a registered chaperone or their parent/guardian.

A chaperone can look after up to 12 children at one time and should give the same care a parent would give.

They are responsible for:

  • ensuring the child has enough breaks and meals
  • taking action if the child is ill, upset or tired
  • considering health and safety issues
  • safeguarding issues
  • adhering to legislation relating to child performance
  • assisting costume changes, dressing and fitting microphones
  • escorting children at all times, including to the toilet.

You must allow at least 6 weeks for the application process and follow the steps and guidance below carefully.

Your licence will last for 3 years from the date of issue. Kent County Council (KCC) will not issue your licence for more than 3 years as your licence must run concurrent to your DBS which is only valid for a period of 3 years. This is KCC policy. It is your responsibility to reapply after your licence expires at the end of the 3 year period.

Apply

To apply for a chaperone licence, you must follow the application pathway below with support from the guidance documents.

You are in control of the progress of your application; we will not chase you for anything but you must complete all steps within 4 weeks and your training within 2 weeks of submitting your application form.  If you go over timescales we will cancel your application without warning.

Please note: there is no helpdesk available to support this process. Everything you need to know is in the guidance and confirmation emails. Please read and follow them fully and carefully.

All stages must be completed, please follow the guidance and steps fully. Read more about the steps of the process (PDF, 252.8 KB).

Steps to take

Guidance notes

1. Complete the online chaperone licence application form.

The application form is online.

Please note you will be required to:

  • provide full and accurate contact details for 2 referees who have known you for longer than 2 years, and are not related to
  • select a location to present your ID documents for your DBS check. Please choose carefully as this cannot be changed once your form is submitted.

2. Successfully complete two online courses:

  • introduction to safeguarding
  • the role of the chaperone

Once you have submitted your application form you will be sent an email that explains how to access the online courses and guidance.

It is also recommended that you disable your pop-up blocker while running the courses .

Each course will take approximately 45 minutes and must be completed successfully within 2 weeks of submitting your chaperone application. If you do not complete the training within this timescale, your application will be cancelled without warning.

Once you start the safeguarding course you must complete it within 28 days to avoid a non-completion charge of £40. This will be payable even if your chaperone application is cancelled or withdrawn for any reason.

3. Complete your online DBS application form.

You will be sent an email within 1 week of submitting your application with details of how to apply for your DBS check.  Please follow the instructions carefully

Remember: check your junk mail if the e-mail hasn’t arrived

4. Present your DBS ID documents to your chosen location.

Once you have completed your online DBS application, your ID must be verified within 4 weeks.

You need to present with your ID at the location and time you selected on your application form. You must bring the correct documents with you; read DBS guidance for further information.

Download a list of the location and times (PDF, 211.8 KB) for reference.

Please note: you will not receive correspondence from your chosen location and will not need to book an appointment. You must attend the stated day, where they will have your name on a list.

5. References

We will need 2 references, please ensure you provide accurate contact details for your referees and ask them to respond promptly when they receive the reference form.

6. Print and retain your information pack for future reference.

chaperone information pack (PDF, 365.5 KB) is available to support your learning of the chaperone role, and as a future reference tool once you are issued with a licence.

7. Professional chaperones only:  payment to be made

Professional chaperones are required to make payment of £75 to Kent County Council for the issue of their licence. This payment must be received before the licence is issued.

Payment details are on the chaperone application form, if you need any assistance with making your payment please contact the CEE team by emailing ChildEmploymentandEntertainment@kent.gov.uk.

Thank you for your interest in becoming a chaperone, you may also be interested in our other volunteering opportunities with Kent County Council.

Thank you for applying to Kent County Council for a Children’s Entertainment Chaperone Licence.  Please retain the saved copy of your PDF for future reference.

Please now follow the remaining steps of the Chaperone Application Pathway outlined fully on our webpage.

Complete each of the following steps in this order to complete your application:

  1. Successfully complete two online training courses: The first is about safeguarding children and young people and the second focuses on the role of a chaperone.  To access these courses please follow the online training guidance document.
  2. Apply for your DBS check online: You will receive an e-mail with a link to the DBS system shortly, please look out for this and follow instructions carefully and promptly
  3. Have your ID verified: Present at your chosen location on the advertised day and time within 2 weeks of submitting your DBS application to have your ID verified.  Make sure you have the ID papers with you.
  4. Ensure that your referees return references promptly
  5. Download and retain the Chaperone information pack (PDF, 365.5 KB) from the webpage.

If you have any queries about your application please refer to our webpage in the first instance where you will find a host of guidance.

Many thanks

Child Employment and Entertainment Team

Kent County Council

An exemption can be issued if the children have not performed for more than 3 days in the last 6 months, are not being paid and are not missing school for any rehearsals or performances. If this applies an exemption could be issued.

If an exemption is issued, there is no legal requirement to have licenced chaperones. However, we strongly advise that you have sufficient adult supervision for the children at all times.  If you have licensed chaperones within your organisation they should be listed on the spreadsheet.

To apply for an exemption please complete the exemption spreadsheet (XLSX, 85.8 KB) and attach this to the online exemption form.