Child Actor on Set: 5 Most Popular Questions

Child Actor on Set: 5 Most Popular Questions

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  1. How Many Hours Can a Child Actor Work on Set?
  2. Do Child Actors Need Their Parents on Set?
  3. How Are the Emotional Needs of Child Actors Catered to on Set?
  4. What Happens If a Child Actor Gets Tired or Sick on Set?
  5. Can Nanny Be With Child Actor on Set Instead of Parent?

Child actors are often the stars of television and movie sets. From Disney Channel to blockbuster movies, they can sometimes be seen as the face of the production. But have you ever pondered on what it is like for a child actor on set? Kids and adults alike are curious to know the answers!

How Many Hours Can a Child Actor Work on Set?

A minor can be required to work only if he or she has been granted permission by the Labor Department and only if they have obtained an employment certificate from the Bureau of Working Conditions.

Also Read: How Old Do You Have to Be to Model?

They may be pint-sized performers, but child actors still have a job to do. And just like any other profession, they're subject to regulations and rules when it comes to the number of many hours they can work on set.

  • If you're six to nine years old and in school, you can work up to eight hours a day at your job. But you can only work four hours; the remaining three must be spent resting or doing schoolwork. 
  • If you're ten years or older and in school, you can work up to nine or ten hours a day if school isn't in session. 
  • If you're fourteen or fifteen, you can only work between 7 am and 7 pm on non-school days and from 7 am to 9 pm on school days. 
  • If you're sixteen or seventeen, there's no limit on the number of hours you can work, but you can't work more than 12 hours in a row without taking an eight-hour break. 
  • You need at least 12 hours off between shifts as well.
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Child Actor on Set: 5 Most Popular Questions

Do Child Actors Need Their Parents on Set?

Filming a movie can be a thrilling experience for children but can pose several potential hazards. Therefore, a responsible adult in the US must accompany the child on set. Typically, this role is fulfilled by the child's parent. However, a chaperone, possibly a relative or trusted family friend, will be appointed if a parent is unavailable.

The on-set tutor will provide educational guidance, but the chaperone's primary role is to ensure the child's safety. Depending on the group's size, several chaperones will be present in cases involving multiple children. Chaperones help prevent injuries from high-risk equipment and heavy materials and attend to children's emotional well-being throughout the shoot.

Older children may have some independence to roam, such as walking to and from the set, but chaperones remain necessary to keep children out of harm's way. Regardless of age, a responsible adult must always be on set. Parents' presence is preferred to prevent potential challenges, but chaperones can provide proper guidance and care when necessary.

How Are the Emotional Needs of Child Actors Catered to on Set?

Child actors face unique challenges that can affect their emotional well-being. Juggling school, career, and personal life while dealing with rejection, jealousy, and self-doubt can lead to exhaustion and mental illness. Without proper support, these children are at risk of developing damaging habits.

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Those working with child actors must recognize their unique needs and offer sufficient support to prevent this. This involves creating a safe environment where emotions can be expressed without fear of judgment. In addition, access to resources such as counseling or therapy is essential. Parents or guardians should also be involved to ensure the protection and well-being of their children.

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Directors and producers must create a supportive atmosphere that allows young actors to feel comfortable expressing themselves. Clear boundaries between work and playtime, as well as breaks when needed, are crucial. Child actors can focus on their craft by fostering a positive environment instead of worrying about how others perceive them.

A typical upbringing is not a prerequisite for contentment for a child who relishes acting. They find joy in their endeavors. However, if you notice a decline in their enthusiasm, such as mood swings or a reluctance to continue auditioning, it's acceptable to pull back. Allow them to explore alternative interests and decide whether to re-engage after rest.

What Happens If a Child Actor Gets Tired or Sick on Set?

When a child actor gets tired or sick on set, it can be difficult for everyone involved. One may face production delays and even casting replacements. Everyone in the production must be aware of the signs that a child actor is becoming overwhelmed and nervous.

  1. The first step is to talk with your child about their feelings. Ask them open-ended questions about their experience and feelings, and tell them you are there to listen. It can also be helpful to provide reassurance that it's okay to feel overwhelmed or anxious in certain situations.
  2. It's also important to ensure your child gets enough rest and relaxation time away from work. Make sure they have plenty of time for play, hobbies, or other activities that help them relax and unwind. Encourage them to practice mindfulness techniques like deep breathing or meditation as well.
  3. Finally, if the stress is becoming too much for your child actor, consider seeking professional help from a mental health professional who specializes in working with children in the entertainment industry. They can provide valuable guidance on managing stress levels and keeping anxiety at bay.
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Can Nanny Be With Child Actor on Set Instead of Parent?

While a parent or guardian is preferred, sometimes a nanny may be allowed to accompany the child in their absence. In any case, the care and protection of the young performer is of utmost importance.

It's crucial that the nanny has considerable expertise in working with minors and has completed all legal certifications mandated by the state. If a nanny fulfills these requirements, they will have an integral role to play and must be capable of taking responsibility for ensuring the child's safety and working conditions.

The nanny must be familiar with the film's production process and be aware of all potential hazards. They should also monitor the child's emotional state and offer help when needed. The nanny should have good communication skills to conserve a positive work environment and ensure that all cast members are comfortable with their presence.

Also Read: Child Model Requirements.


Child actors face many inherent dangers in the entertainment industry, but there are ways to keep them protected. The strict rules aim to prevent burnout and ensure their emotional stability. Ideally, parents should be on set with their children. However, qualified nannies or chaperones take over when that isn't possible. The end goal is to set the seal that the world of child acting is safe and rewarding, full of opportunities for learning, guidance, and support.

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