We believe no young carer should be forced to grow up early and miss out on the same opportunities as other children

We believe no young carer should be forced to grow up early and miss out on the same opportunities as other children

How many young carers are there?

Our most recent research study shows that many young people don’t even realise they are carers - they‘re just looking after their mum, brother or sister, and often they’ve been doing it as long as they can remember.

More than 166,000 children in England are estimated to be a young carer – but this figure is only the tip of the iceberg.

How much caregiving is too much for a child?

Nearly 15,000 children up to the age of 17 are providing more than 50 hours of care every week. This is an official estimate, and may not take into account the time a young carer spends doing things like keeping a housebound relative company. And they don’t convey the psychological burden of worrying about a relative who may be seriously ill.

How would a child you know cope with these responsibilities?

...watch Molly's story

Read quotes from young carers...

'I literally do everything on my own' - Samayya, age 16

In our most recent report focusing on young carers' experiences, we asked young people to share what it is like to be a young carer.

Here's what they said.

Read our report about young carers, There's nobody is there - no one who can actually help?

How they spend their days

‘I help my mum by putting the dirty clothes in bin bags and taking them to the washing.’ Bobby, 9

Read more quotes about children's well-being
‘I help my mum by putting the dirty clothes in bin bags and taking them to the washing.’ Bobby, 9

‘Sometimes I help my nan get changed coz she can’t bend down as she has arthritis in her back.’ Armin, 9

‘I just help my mum a lot – like I used to be cooking because my dad was trying to find work, so when he was trying to find work I would come home from school and make things.’ Billie, 18

Their mental well-being

'My mum’s disabled, and so most of last year and this year she’s been in hospital so I didn’t get that much attendance.’ Bobby, 9 about attending school

Read more quotes about children's mental well-being
‘I feel really unappreciated because I do so much stuff but because my dad’s not well he doesn’t even see it anyway…but instead of getting upset I just get angry and walk out.’ Seema, 18

‘Sometimes I help my nan get changed coz she can’t bend down as she has arthritis in her back.’ Armin, 9

‘I didn’t know how to control my anger…I managed to get angry enough that I got grounded, I got a detention from school, because of what I did.’ Baruk, 11

Their social lives

‘I did a lot of stuff with my mum, helping her, so I didn’t really go out the house much.’ Oscar, 11 ‘I don’t get to see my friends very often.’ Arun, 11

Read more quotes about children's social lives
‘I did a lot of stuff with my mum, helping her, so I didn’t really go out the house much.’ Oscar, 11

‘I don’t get to see my friends very often.’ Arun, 11

‘I will stay in the house until I am about 25. Just to make sure my brother is out of trouble.’ Baruk, 11

‘I don’t really have a lot of free time! I like to socialise when I can. I am so absorbed with everything at home that it’s nice to talk to other people…it distresses me. If I am worrying about stuff it goes away when I am talking to people.’ Jolene, 19

The positive side of caring

‘It makes me feel good. The fact my mum can - if she has a problem – that she can confide in me.’ Jolene, 19

Read more quotes about the positive side of caring
‘It makes me feel good. The fact my mum can - if she has a problem – that she can confide in me.’ Jolene, 19

‘It’s nice to be the one to support them and stuff. Even though you can’t really do anything about the situation. … It makes me feel needed and wanted in the house. Before I had never felt like that.’ Alex, 15

Your support changes everything

Your support helps us run the Young Carers Festival each year.

When a young carer attends, it can change just about everything. Their mental health is improved by giving them the opportunity to have fun, relax, socialise and they can have their voices heard about issues that affect them.

Learn about the annual Young Carers Festival.

Too many young carers are hidden.

Share this page so we can reach more young carers in England.