Pediatric palliative care provides physical and psychosocial care to children with life-limiting illnesses and their families. Services are provided by physicians, nurses, volunteers, and other providers in a myriad of settings. Over the past 30 years, a portfolio of research has amassed on palliative care. Yet, much remains unknown, particularly about pediatric palliative care. This article is the first in a series and it provides a general overview of what is known and unknown about the provision and need for pediatric palliative care. Subsequent articles will focus on specific topics such as decision making and support care. The purpose of this series is to inform and promote discussion about research in pediatric palliative care.