This editorial essay contextualises, and calls for further research on, the topic of childhood, youth and ‘care’. The chapter begins by providing an overview of intersections between the ideas of childhood, youth and care. The edited collection is then situated in relation to recent, rich, multidisciplinary theorisations of care which direct attention to everyday practices and relationships of caring, the complex spatialities of ‘caringscapes’, and the radical politico-ethical possibilities of ‘ethics of care’. However, the essay develops an argument that work in this context has often not engaged directly with children and young people, constituting an absence of work on children and young people’s participation in caring, their presence in designated spaces of/for care, and the potential significance of care as a critically important new lens for (re)thinking childhood and youth. The chapter critiques some of the normative habits, discourses and assumptions underpinning this absence. The editors call for further research with – rather than about – children and young people in relation to care, and highlight the significant contributions of the following chapters in this context.