Today, Kensington Palace released a piece of fantastic news. The Duchess of Cambridge touched another milestone in her Early Years Initiative Project. She launched a landmark survey Five Big Questions on the Under Fives survey. It gives people across the UK an opportunity to provide their view on raising the next generation. About the survey, Kensington Palace said,
“The launch of the survey follows eight years of work by the Duchess of Cambridge in which she has explored how experiences in early childhood often lie at the root of the hardest social challenges the country faces today. What we experience in the earliest years – from in the womb to the age of five – is instrumental in shaping our future lives.”
After yesterday’s show-stopping appearance at UK-Africa Investment summit, I was expecting The Duchess to make an unannounced appearance at least once this week as we didn’t have any scheduled engagement. But we might be in for a handful of them.
Last year we were told that we will be hearing more about Catherine’s dream project and here we have the first glimpse. The ‘Five Big Questions’ contains five short questions and aims to spark a national conversation on the early years that will ultimately help bring about positive, lasting change for generations to come. It is designed to bring together the thoughts of as many people as possible – recognising that everyone has a role in ensuring strong, healthy foundations for the youngest in our society that will positively affect their lifelong outcomes.
The findings should provide a vital source of information for the early years sector, helping it to better understand public perceptions of the importance of the early years, and the first-hand experiences of parents, families and carers. This public feedback will also help to focus Her Royal Highness’ work through the Royal Foundation as she endeavours to provide children across the UK with the best foundations to lead healthy and fulfilling lives. The results of the survey will be made available in March and will determine the next step in Catherine’s early year’s work.
For the big launch, today Catherine visited Birmingham, where she visited ‘Thinktank’ – the city’s science museum. Catherine met with children at MiniBrum, an interactive, child-sized mini-city in the museum before speaking with various parents who have been involved in the project. Speaking about the project The Duchess of Cambridge said,
Parents, carers and families are at the heart of caring for children in the formative years, so that is why I want to listen to them. As a parent, I know how much we cherish the future health and happiness of our children.
I want to hear the key issues affecting our families and communities so I can focus my work on where it is needed most. My ambition is to provide a lasting change for generations to come.
During today’s engagement, Catherine spent time with a group of children from Henley Montessori School and St Paul’s Nursery in Balsall Heath. The Duchess of Cambridge is a passionate champion of family and children support. From Daily Mail’s report,
After being presented with a posy by Poppy as a thank you for visiting the ‘city’, the duchess met various parents who have been involved in the project, including Giovanna Fletcher, whose podcast Happy Mum, Happy Baby is aimed at ensuring that new mothers do not feel alone.
The group then sat down together to discuss various issues surrounding parenthood and the role that local communities can play.
Kate, 38, said: ‘What we experience between the ages of nought and five shapes the developing brain.
‘They help us avoid adversity, or certainly build resilience to adversity in later life, prevent challenges with mental health later down the line.
‘As a mother, it’s given me a different perspective.
‘There’s so much pressure on parents to feel the responsibility is just down to them but actually it’s important to work together as a community.’
The Duchess put the focus of her public life on helping families and children to provide a healthy and happy childhood. In 2018, Duchess convened a steering group of academics, practitioners and charities to focus on early intervention to support the social, emotional and mental wellbeing of young children. More from DailyMail’s report,
One of its members, David Holmes CBE, chief executive of Family Action, of which the Duchess is patron, said: ‘Every parent, carer and family wants the best for their child and raising the profile of the vital early years in a child’s life is work of national importance.
‘The insight this survey will give the early years sector valuable direction in designing and delivering services and support which reflect what matters most to people.’
Kate Stanley, director of strategy for the NSPCC, said: ‘It’s fantastic to see The Duchess of Cambridge launch this survey today. The results will provide fascinating insight into how we think about the early years and it will be a vital source of information for the sector.’
Catherine will be undertaking a 24-hour tour of the country to trigger country-wide participation. Tomorrow, the Duchess of Cambridge has engagements in London, Cardiff, and Surrey to continue promoting the initiative. You can participate in the survey by clicking here.
A video of the visit to Birmingham.
For the visit to Birmingham, Catherine wore a new printed Pansy Pussybow blouse in green from Tabitha Webb. Thanks to UFONoMore for the id.
The £295 Pansy Pussybow blouse is described as, “It’s the Pansy Pussybow in all its glory in our new green chevron print. Our signature style is ready to take you through the spring season”. Crafted from 100% silk the blouse is from label’s Autumn 2019 collection but now is back for pre-order.
The Duchess of Cambridge paired the blouse with her Jigsaw High Waisted Sport Luxe Trousers.
Catherine was wearing her Emmy London Josie Block Heel Pointed Shoe
Another new element in today’s look was Halcyon Days Gold Plated Maya Torque Bracelet in Aquamarine. (Thanks to UfoNoMore for the id). The £110.00 is described as, “Our new Maya torque bangle has the blues. Dive into the Caribbean with this latest blue and bejewelled twist on our classic design” and is available online.
Tomorrow is going to be a busy day when The Duchess of Cambridge will join parents at LEYF Nursery in Southwark for the nursery drop off, before helping nursery workers serve breakfast to the children. Next, Catherine will travel to Cardiff to attend a baby sensory class at Ely and Careau Children’s Centre where she will hear about the support that parents receive.
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