Chaperoning of children in entertainment

When a child takes part in a performance which can include TV, filming, theatre or modelling they must be chaperoned by their own parent or an approved chaperone.

A parent may only chaperone their own child. No one else may look after your child if you are named on your child's licence as chaperone.  A grandparent or other family member (unless they have parental responsibility or they have a chaperone licence) cannot undertake this role on your behalf.

A chaperone acts in "loco parentis" and should exercise the care which a good parent might be reasonably expected to give that child.

The maximum number of children a chaperone can look after at any one time is 12.  However in most cases this will be too many as age and gender need to be taken into account along with the limitations of the venue.

The duties and responsibilities of a chaperone

  • A chaperones' first priority is always to the child
  • A chaperone is the key person who the child looks to for guidance, protection, clarification and support
  • A chaperone's duty is to look after the child therefore they cannot be involved in other activities such as dresser, make up or actor
  • A chaperone must be strong enough to negotiate on behalf of the child. For example if a producer wants a child to remain at the place of performance beyond the permitted hours or to perform outside of that stated on the licence the chaperone must be confident enough to say no
  • A chaperone must have a working knowledge of the performance regulations to carry out their duties confidently and effectively
  • Production companies are required by law to keep certain records relating to the performance e.g. arrival and departure times, rest times etc. This duty often falls to the chaperone
  • A chaperone must ensure that all children are handed over to their parent/carer at the end of the performance. No child must ever be allowed to go home alone

A child's performance licence will tell you what the child is allowed to do, you should ask the producer for a copy of the child's licence and familiarise yourself with the terms of the licence.

If a child is unwell they cannot perform, as a chaperone you have the right to stop them from performing until you are satisfied they are well enough to continue.  Chaperones should contact the parent or named contact on the emergency contact register and ask them to collect the child if they are unwell.

If you have suspicions that a child is being neglected or abused or if a child makes a disclosure of that nature you must immediately inform the designated person for child protection or contact Children's Social Care.

Forms and guidance for chaperones

Apply for a chaperone licence

There are two types of chaperone licences you can apply for;

  • Professional - this enables you to chaperone in a paid capacity and costs £70
  • Volunteer - this enables you to chaperone as a volunteer without payment and costs £30.

Before you start

To complete the application form you will need:

  • National insurance number
  • Contact details of 2 referees (one should preferably be professional)
  • Evidence of Safeguarding training (completed within the last 6 months) or successful completion of the Blackburn with Darwen Safeguarding Children level 1 and 2 which you can access via the Blackburn with Darwen training website
  • A photograph of your DBS if subscribed to the DBS update service
  • A recent digital photo - your photo must:
    • be clear and in focus
    • be on a clear light-coloured background
    • contain no other objects or people (including sunglasses, hats)
    • contain head and shoulders only
    • have been taken in the last month

Please read the guide for chaperones and licence holders information booklet (in the section above) before you apply.

Apply for a chaperone licence

What happens next

The team will contact the two references listed on your application form and complete the safeguarding checks. Once complete you will receive an email with a link to make payment.

If you have not uploaded a photo of your DBS certificate registered with the update service, you will get an email containing a DBS link to complete.

You will then be invited to attend one of our mandatory chaperone training sessions at County Hall in Preston.  Please bring to the training session your 3 ID documents, so that they can be verified as part of your DBS check.

Once all checks are complete and your DBS outcome has been received, your chaperones licence will be issued by email.

Please allow 6 to 8 weeks for your licence to be processed.


If you have any questions contact the Child Employment and Entertainment Team:

Tel: 01772 531799