State Regulations for New York

Date Revised: 10/30/2023

Governing Body:

New York State Department of Health 

License Required for Day Camps :
License Required for Resident Camps:
License Information:

In New York State, when a children's program qualifies as a camp, it must have a state, city, or county health department permit to operate legally Details

The New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs contains requirements for camps for children with developmental disabilities, and requires amendments to the children's camp regulation (Subpart 7-2). The amendments apply to camps with 20% or more campers with a developmental disability and include new requirements for:

staff screening and training and

incident reporting/management.

Information for complying with the legislation and amendments is found on the Justice Center's website. Here are some helpful links:


New York City requires all camps within its boroughs to be inspected and licensed by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Bureau of Child Care (BCC)

Criminal Background Checks Required:
Criminal Background Checks Information:

(check of the New York State DCJS Sex Offender Registry required for all employees and volunteers)

Record Review Unit
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services

4 Tower Place
Albany, NY 12203-3764

$62.25 per search

State Allows FBI Checks:
Driving Record Checks:

Available through the New York State DMV Web site.


State Sex Offender Registry:

New York Sex Offender Registry

NYS Sex Offender Registry Search Procedures for Children's Camps

National Sex Offender Registry - Camps are required to search the database before hiring an employee or volunteer.

Minimum Wage:

New York State - $14.20 per hour

New York City, Long Island & Westchester - $15.00 per hour

Minimum Wage Coverage and Exemptions:

Covers all employees unless specifically exempt.

Exemptions: staff counselors in children’s camps; executive, administrative, and professional employees; members of religious orders; ministers, priests, rabbis, sextons, and Christian Science readers; various other individuals working for religious or charitable institutions; public employees; volunteers, learners, or apprentices working for nonprofit religious, charitable or educational institutions; and volunteers (at least age 18) at a recreational or amusement event lasting no longer than 8 consecutive days and run by a business that operates such events, provided only one such event occurs in the same calendar year, the business informs each volunteer in writing that he/she is waiving the right to receive the minimum wage, such notice is signed and dated by the business and the volunteer and is kept on file by the business for 36 months.

Subminimum Wage:

Subminimum rates may be set by wage order (under special certificates for a fixed period) for: learners, apprentices, persons whose earning capacity is impaired by youth or age or physical or mental deficiency or injury; students working for a resort or camp (for not more than 17 consecutive weeks); and residential employees in a non-profit religious, charitable or educational organization, or college sorority or fraternity; youth rates apply to certain jobs under Farm Worker wage order.

Overtime Pay Requirements:

1½ times the regular rate after 40-hour week (by wage orders), excluding janitors and certain industries exempt under the FLSA

Overtime Pay Exemptions:

Those employees exempt from the minimum wage. Industry-specific exemptions apply under wage orders for the following: Hotel Industry; Restaurant Industry; Building Service Occupations; Miscellaneous Industries and Occupations; Nonprofit Institutions; and Farm Workers.

Meal/Rest Period Requirements:

Meal period: Mercantile and other employees-at least 30-minute lunch break between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.; at least 30 minutes if shift of 6 hours or more which extends over noonday meal period (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.) given during that shift; or at least 45-minute meal break if starting work between 1 p.m. and 6 a.m. (and working 6 or more hours) given in the middle of the shift. Additional 20-minute meal break between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. for shifts starting before 11 a.m. and ending after 7 p.m. Shorter meal breaks permitted with permission of Labor Commissioner, or if only one employee is on duty or performs a specific job and he/she voluntarily consents to eat on the job without relief; break may be 30-minutes if there is no hardship to the employee; in special or unusual circumstances Commission may issue a permit for a break of not less than 20 minutes.

Student Exemption from Unemployment Tax:
Student Exemption Information:

New York State Unemployment Insurance Law excludes, as employment, services performed under certain conditions by a full-time student for an organized camp.  If the conditions below are met, non-profit, governmental or other camps need not report or pay unemployment insurance contributions on the wages paid to secondary school or college students. Conditions that must be met:
(1) The camp must be defined in the Public Health Law as a Children's Overnight Camp, a Summer Day Camp, or a Traveling Summer Camp.  The camp must not operate for more than seven months in the calendar year and must not have operated for more than seven months in the preceding calendar year.  OR
(2) The camp must have had average gross receipts for any six months in the preceding calendar year which were not more than 33 1/3 % of its average gross receipts for the other six months of that year.  The student must work for the camp for less than 13 weeks in the year.  The student must be enrolled full-time at a secondary or higher educational institution, or, if between terms, must have been so enrolled in the prededing term, and, by reasonable assurance, will be enrolled full-time in the succeeding term.