Child employment

Chaperones

Find out how to become a chaperone for children taking part in performances. We advise that you read the information on this page.

To become a chaperone in Central Bedfordshire, you must:

What is a chaperone?

A chaperone acts in place of a parent to the child/ren under his/her care when they are modelling, performing on stage, or taking part in a film production, radio or television programme. A chaperone is expected to exercise the same care and control as a good parent would with a view to securing a child's health, comfort, kind treatment and moral view. The regulations relating to children performing and chaperones are as follows:

"The licensing authority shall not approve a chaperone unless they are satisfied that he/ she is suitable and competent to exercise proper care and control of a child."

Find out more about being a chaperone

The Children & Young Persons Acts 1933 and 1963 and the Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014 detail the regulations for chaperones for children taking part in performances, modelling or sport.

The National Network for Child Employment and Entertainment (link opens in new window) (NNCEE) provides information for chaperones and child employment licences.

The NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) also provides information for safeguarding children in performance (link opens in new window).

Who can apply to be a chaperone?

Anybody over 18 can be a chaperone.

Qualities we look for in a chaperone

  • someone who enjoys working with children
  • patience
  • creativity, to keep children entertained whilst waiting around
  • the ability to handle difficult situations

What are your duties as a chaperone?

  • your first duty is to the care of the child; you will need to get to know them well and be aware of their needs
  • if the child is taken ill, you will be responsible for contacting the appropriate first aider and/or on-site doctor and the child's parents if necessary
  • be in charge of the child at all times, except when the child is with his tutor or parent, or on stage/taking part in filming. This will include on the set, in the dressing rooms, during recreation, meal and break times. You must not undertake any other duties that could separate you from the child
  • be aware of all health and safety regulations and raise any issues, reading any available risk assessment
  • act as intermediary between the child and the production company, particularly if facilities are inadequate
  • you may find yourself under pressure from the production company to "relax the rules", which must never be allowed (remember, your responsibility is to the child's wellbeing, not the production company)
  • occupy the child with a variety of activities during intervals and between performing and rehearsing (think about what would be suitable for children of varying ages)
  • never allow older children to watch or take care of younger children in any circumstances
  • accommodation (where appropriate) must be at the same address as the child and (where possible) in adjoining rooms (ensure the accommodation is clean, with adequate space and toilet facilities)
  • ensure all meals are provided, both on and off the set

Record keeping

A record must be kept, showing:

  • a copy of the child's performance licence
  • the place of the performance
  • dates and tiles of the performance or rehearsals
  • break and meal times
  • length of waiting between performances
  • when the child receives tuition or attends school

Before any rehearsal or performance takes place, you must ensure the producer and/or agent is in receipt of the child's performance licence.

It is your duty to ensure that the licensing regulations are upheld at all times. You will need to have a good knowledge of the regulations and where to go to for advice.

How many children can I look after?

Up to 12 children can be looked after at any one time. However, we consider this to be too many, particularly when there are a variety of ages.

What about the child's education?

All children are required to attend a school full-time during term time or be provided with adequate tuition. It is the chaperone's duty to ensure that this takes place. Records should be kept to show whether the child is attending school or receiving tuition.

How do I apply for the chaperone licence?

  • you must live in Central Bedfordshire
  • you need to name two referees, whom we can contact for a reference
  • you'll be required to complete an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) application online (supplying required documents as required)
  • complete two safeguarding training courses
  • attend an interview
  • re-apply for the licence every three years

Apply to be a chaperone >>

Inspection

It is our practice that, from time to time, inspections will be carried out at places of performance involving children within Central Bedfordshire. Our Child Employment and Licensing Officer carrying out the inspection would make him/herself known to the chaperone on arrival and will have identification with them. When a performance is in a different local authority's area, there are also inspections by its licensing officers. It is therefore necessary that documentation, including chaperone certificate and individual ID lanyard, is carried at all times whilst working as a chaperone.

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