The Duchess of Cambridge visited the University College London’s Centre for Longitudinal Studies to learn about their landmark ‘Children of the 2020s’ Study, which will illustrate the importance of the first five years and provide insights into the most critical aspects of early childhood.
The Duchess has made Early Years and Children the primary focus of her public role. The Duchess of Cambridge has spent a decade working to highlight the importance of the formative years of a child’s life and has established her Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood in June earlier this year which will drive both awareness and action on the positive impact the early years has on individuals and communities.
The University College London’s landmark ‘Children of the 2020s’ study will illustrate the importance of the first five years and provide insights into the most critical aspects of early childhood, as well as the factors which support or hinder positive lifelong outcomes. The new nationally representative birth cohort study is hosted by the UCL Institute of Education’s (IOE) Centre for Longitudinal Studies and funded by the Department of Education. Co-led by researchers from the UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences and the IOE and in partnership with Ipsos MORI, the study is seeking to recruit over 8,000 families next year to track the development of children from the age of nine months to five years.
Speaking ahead of the visit to UCL Institute of Education, The Duchess of Cambridge said, “Our early childhoods shape our adult lives and knowing more about what impacts this critical time is fundamental to understanding what we as a society can do to improve our future health and happiness. The landmark ‘Children of the 2020s’ study will illustrate the importance of the first five years and provide insights into the most critical aspects of early childhood, as well as the factors which support or hinder positive lifelong outcomes“.
“I am committed to supporting greater in-depth research in this vital area and I’m delighted to be meeting all those behind the study at this early stage” – The Duchess of Cambridge
Catherine met with Lead researcher, Professor Pasco Feron, at the centre and discussed how the ‘Children of the 2020s’ study aims to improve life chances. The study will include babies born in April, May, and June 2021 and the research team from UCL, Ipsos MORI, the University of Oxford, Birkbeck, University of London, and the Anna Freud Centre will seek to recruit families in early 2022 to take part in the study.
Welcoming the Duchess at the centre, Professor Feron said, “We are extremely excited to welcome HRH The Duchess of Cambridge to UCL to talk and hear more about our Children of the 2020s Study today and as it develops over the coming years. The study will collect vital information on how children develop during the crucial early years of life. We will be studying their family circumstances and experiences as they grow up, as well as the role of formal and informal childcare and preschool education in their learning and development. We share with Her Royal Highness a commitment to improving children’s development and life chances through high-quality research and good early years policy and we believe the Children of the 2020s Study will play a really important part of that for this next generation of children.“
During the visit, The Duchess viewed archive material of historic research dating back to the 1940s into early childhood including a ‘Birth Questionnaire’ given to new mothers in 1958, which included questions about pregnant women’s smoking habits. While not a standard question at the time, the responses allowed researchers to track the impact that smoking during pregnancy had on a baby’s birth weight, and also how it continued to affect different aspects of a child’s life into adulthood. This led to a public health campaign to stop women smoking whilst pregnant, something which is now commonplace.
From Daily Mail,
” The Duchess of Cambridge has been researching her own family tree to learn more about how her ancestors’ home lives affected the adults they became. Kate, 39, let slip that she has been looking back at four generations of the Middleton and Goldsmith families as part of her work into early childhood development as she met academics from the Children of the 2020s project at the University College London’s Centre for Longitudinal Studies on Tuesday morning.”
Last year, The Duchess of Cambridge launched a landmark survey ‘5 Big Questions’ to start the lifelong project that led to the Early Childhood Centre. I am looking forward to what these studies are going to bring to the front of the world as ‘Early years’ is a crucial social matter that has been ignored for a very long time. Find more about it here.
Described as, “Flowing long sleeve dress featuring a high neck with ties and a V-shaped opening, an elastic inner waist, a detachable belt in matching fabric with a covered buckle, and a front button fastening” dress was on sale for just £16 before selling out.
The Duchess was wearing her Hugo Boss Staple P90-L Pumps.
Catherine paired the outfit with her Mappin and Webb Empress earrings.
She was wearing Amaia Kids The Duke/Duchess Black plain Reusable Face Mask
and her Cartier Ballon Bleu watch