Latest news Today's issues Mother of Young Carer Case Study Boarding school has levelled the playing field for my daughter, in that she no longer has the daily stress and worry associated with my health and the daily additional chores: cooking and tidying. She now has similar opportunities to children who are not young carers Zainab is a teacher by profession. She has suffered deteriorating ill-health since her daughter Ania was born 14 years ago. She has been unable to work for a number of years. She retrained as a counsellor a few years ago as she was desperate to work but knew she could no longer do anything as physically active as being a teacher. However, although she qualified she was not able to practice as her health deteriorated even further. Zainab says: “I had to apply to send my daughter to boarding school last year, when my health severely deteriorated. I could no longer cook meals for myself much less for my child. Having my daughter in boarding school has meant that I no longer need to worry about whether I have the energy to cook her nutritious meals on a daily basis. This may seem like a trivial matter to some, but as a disabled parent it is very frustrating when you are unable to cook for your child. I now am rest assured that my child has access to a balanced meal three times a day. This is such a relief to me. Furthermore I struggled to ensure her uniform was cleaned in time for a new school week, however in boarding school, her washing is done for her. Again this is such a relief to me as previously when I had a bad week health wise, I was often unable to ensure her clothes were clean in time. This created anxiety for me and my daughter as we would both worry about getting her clothes cleaned in time. Also there was the additional worry for my daughter who was concerned that friends would notice if her uniform wasn't cleaned or ironed. Moreover, on a practical day to day level boarding school has shielded my daughter from the daily worry of my health. I often spend large parts of the day in bed in pain, this is very worrying for children to experience. I believe it is very hard for them to switch off the concerns at home and concentrate on school work. I know my daughter often worried about me in school and wondered what state I would be in upon her return. However now that she is in boarding school, the day to day concerns about my health are no longer impacting upon her learning. One of my big concerns was that my children's education would be severely affected by my health. Either through me not being able to sit and help with the homework or that during school they were distracted with worry. Again boarding school has helped to redress that balance and I believe my daughter has an equal chance of succeeding. Indeed she has thrived emotionally and educationally, and for that I am truly grateful. In conclusion, boarding school has levelled the playing field for my daughter, in that she no longer has the daily stress and worry associated with my health and the daily additional chores: cooking and tidying. She now has similar opportunities to children who are not young carers." Ania's school report that she is now making above the expected progress in most of her subjects and her attendance is high at 99.5%.