Child Models

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New York Labor Law defines a child performer as anyone under the age of 18 who renders artistic or creative services. Until November 2013, models were excluded from this definition, and in turn from the New York State Department of Labor’s regulations governing the protection of child performers. The Model Alliance decided this needed to change.

On June 9th, 2013, members of the Model Alliance were joined by Senators Jeffrey Klein and Diane Savino at a press conference at Lincoln Center to announce proposed legislation that would afford child models in New York those protections. A full length video of the press conference is available here.

On June 12, 2013, the New York State Senate and Assembly unanimously voted to pass the proposed legislation.

Effective November 20, 2013, child models who live or work in New York State are covered by NY's Labor Law and applicable regulations as child performers. Parents and/or guardians must obtain valid Child Performer Permits for their children, so their child models are eligible to work in the state. Additionally, employers’ requirements under the newly amended law are outlined below.


The New York State Department of Labor provides a FAQ page on their website pertaining to the employment of child models. There, you will also find any necessary documents and forms to ensure compliance under the law. For more information, please contact the Department of Labor.

*Find information on the Child Victims Act here.

New York Law Adds Maturity to Runways

According to advisory board member & casting director James Scully, “This year, I saw over 350 girls, and I only saw 3 that were under 18. You know, they weren’t just 18-year-olds, either. A lot of these girls were really ranging between 20 and 24 years old, and I didn’t find the aesthetic looked any different from when they were 15. So it does prove that this can be done.”

Read the full article in the New York Times