Paediatric rheumatology is a relatively new specialty that has developed rapidly over the last 30 years. There have been major advances, which have included improvements in the classification and management of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). The former has led to enhanced international collaboration with disease registries, multicentre research and the development of new therapeutic agents. This has resulted in improved disease control and remission induction in many. There is, however, still significant morbidity associated with JIA during childhood, adolescence and adulthood, and challenges for the future include early identification of those with a poorer prognosis, appropriate administration of safe therapies and optimizing outcomes as young people move through adolescence into adulthood.