The Duchess of Cambridge, who has been championing early childhood and Mental Health for years, has endorsed the national launch of BBC’s early years’ language and communication initiative ‘Tiny Happy People’. The Duchess has been passionately promoting the positive impacts of children having the best start in life since becoming a part of the British Royal Family. BBC Education initiative is designed to provide resources and support to parents and carers of children up to the age of four.
Last week in Sandringham, The Duchess of Cambridge met with some of the families, who have appeared in Tiny Happy People videos, to hear about their experiences of parenting and how resources and activities of the initiative have been helping them. The Duchess held a socially distanced meeting in a garden in which she was joined by Ryan and his eight-month-old daughter Mia along with Henrietta, Abu and their 11-month-old daughter Amirah and Kerry, Darren and their two-year-old son Dexter to see how they have used the resources.
Then the Duchess appeared on the BBC Breakfast interview on Tuesday morning where she talked about her commitment to early years development and the crucial role Tiny Happy People can play in supporting parents. From People’s report,
Referring to a new dad named Ryan and his 8-month-old daughter Mia, Kate says, “He’s learned a huge amount from Tiny Happy People. It’s information like that I wish I had had as a first-time mom.”
“It’s gold dust, really, for families to be given those tips and tools to be able to use, particularly in those first five years,” Kate says in the interview, which will air on BBC Breakfast in the U.K. on Tuesday.
“In the first few months there’s a huge amount of support from the midwives and health visitors, but from then onwards, there’s a massive gap before children start school, and it’s that time that I think parents really need the support.” she adds. Kate said, “The science also shows how important relationships are and safe and nurturing environments are for children particularly under 5.”
“That’s what really matters. It’s not necessarily about the toys, it’s not the exciting places you go with them, but it’s actually how you as parents interact with them. That’s what really counts,” she continued.
“I think some elements are going to be really positive,” she told the BBC. “So families have been able to spend a lot more precious time together. And really reflected on some of the simple things that actually really do make a difference to their kids – particularly in the first five years. And for others, it’s been really tough on relationships and on money issues and relationship issues — it’s been a real challenge.
BBC’s Tiny Happy People helps children develop language and communication skills so that they can have the best possible start in life. Tiny Happy People focuses on the development of children’s language and carries a simple message at its core: talk to children from as early an age as possible. It provides parents with resources that support them in creating a bond with their children. The resources are full of quick and inspiring easy to build activities and ideas that are based on expert advice and evidence to build into a daily routine and proven to deliver great results for parents and their young children.
Recognising the significance of the project to supporting parents as they guide their children through the earliest years of life, The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will collaborate with the BBC as they continue to develop and roll out the program. The Duchess of Cambridge has made Early Year’s and Children Mental Health a primary focus of her public life.
About the program, The Duchess of Cambridge said,
“Families and carers are at the heart of nurturing the next generation of happy, healthy adults, but sometimes it can be hard to know where to turn to for advice. Tiny Happy People is an invaluable resource which provides parents and carers with support and tips, as well as simple activities to ensure children develop the language skills they need to have the best possible start in life. I am delighted to have been part of its journey and hope families across the UK will enjoy exploring the resources.”
You might remember that in November of 2019, there were reports that The Duchess of Cambridge met with the BBC Children’s and Education team and then the BBC’s General Director after the launch of National Emergencies Trust. We all were wondering about what the visit was about. Well, now we know. The mother of three adorable kids, Catherine has been helping out at Tiny Happy People creative sessions.
The program, which includes short films, articles and quizzes, covers the science behind a baby’s brain development and inspires different activities to do with babies and toddlers. It has been piloted in Manchester, and Catherine met some of the families who have enjoyed the service so far.
The Duchess of Cambridge met with the Tiny Happy People team at the BBC to take part in development sessions and to learn more about the production process. She helped in the character and background development for two animations on parenting – “How eye contact is key to your baby’s language learning” and “The Science of Singing to Bump“. Both are now available on the Tiny Happy People website.
Talking to Louise Minchin on the BBC Breakfast show, The Duchess said,
What I definitely hear a lot is that that there is this sense of being judged. Parents don’t feel that they can reach out for help, which is really sad, because we all need support. Families and parents know how important it is to look after our children and to nurture and care for them. But I didn’t realise before I started all of this work just how important it is. Some of the science behind child development it is extraordinary. For example, 90% of our adult brain grows before the age of 5.
“It just shows what a precious time this is and what an amazing opportunity we’ve got to really nurture their minds and put them in the best possible position for their future lives.
There’s not a huge amount of support and guidance currently out there. I think what Tiny Happy People is providing for families is a real lifeline and very much needed.”
During the conversation, The Duchess also opened up about her experience as a first-time mother with her first child Prince George. Continuing from People’s report,
“I think it’s really hard. So much focus particularly during pregnancy and when you’ve just got a newborn baby is on the physical development of your baby and you as a mother. But what I think is really missing – what I found was missing too – was the support there on how to help their social and emotional development. How do you interact with a newborn baby, what is it that you should be doing?”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been living at their country residence Anmer Hall in Norfolk with their three kids. Talking about home life, The Duchess shared some lovely tidbits about her three kids Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. From People’s report,
“My children have bottomless pits,” Kate said during Tuesday’s appearance on BBC Breakfast to discuss a new online education initiative called Tiny Happy People. “I feel like a constant feeding machine.”
Kate also revealed during Tuesday’s appearance that Prince Louis hasn’t quite embraced the idea of social distancing. “Louis doesn’t understand social distancing,” she said of her toddler son. “He goes out wanting to cuddle anything, particularly any babies younger than him.”
One of the parents who met Kate asked the royal how the lockdown period has been for her.
“It has been challenging – I think challenging for loads of people,” she replied. “Some parts have been really positive – spending extra time with the kids and everything like that but it’s equally stressful. You’re in confined spaces and having to homeschool, that was definitely a challenge. I always respected teachers before but now I have a newfound respect for them.”
She added, “In a way, we have forgotten almost how important relationships are. It’s that connectivity, that intimacy that we’ve all really missed during lockdown. If nothing else, hopefully, one of the silver linings is that people actually will really, really re-value how those things are.”
For the garden meeting, Duchess of Cambridge was looking absolutely gorgeous in black polka dot dress. She wore a custom version of Emilia Wickstead’s Anatola Pleated Polka-Dot Crepe Shirtdress. Thanks to @hrhthekate on Twitter for the id.
The £1,565 dress is described as, “Emilia Wickstead’s AW19 collection draws inspiration from Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather trilogy, and this black and white polka-dot shirtdress effortlessly captures 1980s Italian nostalgia.”
Exclusive to MATCHESFASHION, it’s crafted from floaty crepe to a fluid silhouette which is cinched with a buckled belt, then falls to a knife-pleated midi-length skirt and fastens with discreet buttons.
Catherine paired the dress with her Castaner Carina Wedges that she debuted in 2019 during a visit to her ‘Back to Nature’ Garden. The wedges are available in various colourways on Revolve, Matches Fashion, Italist, Farfetch, Gilt, Net-a-Porter.