United Kingdom

Kate ‘determined’ to emphasise ‘critical importance’ of early childhood

The Princess of Wales says she is “absolutely determined” that people learn about the “critical importance” of early childhood.

This week, she is launching a new campaign to raise awareness of the early years.

In a strongly-worded open letter, she encourages people to ask how they can make the world a “supportive and loving place” for young children.

The first five years “matter so much” because they help “shape the rest of our lives”, she says.

The duchess writes: “As a society, we currently spend much more of our time and energy on later life. I am absolutely determined that this long-term campaign is going to change that.”

The initiative will be supported by celebrities and academics with backgrounds in early childhood and will be launched by The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood.

The Princess of Wales says: “We all need to know the critical importance of our early childhood. They really are years like no other in our lives.

“Our brains develop at an amazing rate – faster than any other time of our lives.

“I urge everyone reading this to take the opportunity to learn more about this incredible time of life, to think back to your own childhood and how it shaped you, and, most importantly, to ask yourselves what you can do to make the world a more supportive and loving place for our children.

“Because healthy, happy children shape a healthy, happy future.”

Two photos have been released to accompany the letter, showing the princess meeting young children at St John’s Church of England School, a primary school in east London.

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Kate has long championed the importance of early childhood, and last year wrote an article saying “not enough is being done” to understand and prioritise the early years.

In 2020, she launched a UK-wide survey to explore how much people understand about early childhood.

She later launched the Centre for Early Childhood, which has been working to find solutions and ways to raise awareness of the issue.

Many of her engagements involve visiting nurseries and groups which help and support young children, their families and carers.

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