The Duchess has been a crucial force behind a new study from the Royal Foundation on the “crucial early years” of a childhood. Now the study has concluded, Kate will make a speech marking its publications highlighting the social challenges caused by difficult early childhoods. Experts have said the keynote talk will be a “milestone moment” for the Cambridge royal, putting her in a “new light”.
The Royal Foundation saw more than half a million Brits take part in a poll over “five big questions on the under-fives” at the request of Kate.
To mark the findings of the research program, Kate has pre-recorded a “passionate and personal address” to discuss its findings.
Speaking to the Daily Mail sources familiar with the Duchess’ work have said she will “come across in a new light” with her commitment to child development.
They added the research is a “milestone moment” for the Duchess, with the work telegraphing a future focus for Kate which will last for the rest of her life.
READ MORE: Kate set for ‘milestone moment’ as project she’s worked on for years lands results today
The research into childhood development up to five years old involves further qualitative and ethnographic research and a nationally representative survey, with Kate specifically requesting a further survey on the impact of coronavirus on families.
Findings from the research state the pandemic has massively increased parental loneliness by 25 percent, as well as highlighting that loneliness in parents was mostly located in the most deprived areas of the UK.
The Duchess is expected to say of the findings: “Over the last decade I have met people from all walks of life. I have seen that experiences such as homelessness, addiction, and poor mental health are often grounded in a difficult childhood.
‘But I have also seen, how positive protective factors in the early years can play a crucial role in shaping our futures.
“The early years are not simply about how we raise our children. They are in fact about how we raise the next generation of adults.”
More praise for the report and the Duchess’ involvement came from politicians and experts.
Tulip Siddiq, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Children and Early Years and MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, welcomed the findings and said: “The coronavirus crisis poses an existential threat to the early years sector and the essential education it provides to so many.
“This important intervention from the Duchess of Cambridge is a reminder to us all about what is at stake when decisions are made about early years support, and I hope the Government is listening.”
Vicky Ford, Children’s Minister, responded to the report and said: “Early education is a crucial building block to set a child up for life and I welcome the Duchess of Cambridge’s focus on this important issue.”
Kensington Palace has stated the Duchess is set to announce “ambitious plans” next year to help elevate the importance of early childhood.
Kate has regularly made early childhoods central to her public role since becoming a royal and spoke on Giovanna Fletcher’s Happy Mum Happy Baby podcast about how the research project has been “quite a journey”.
In 2018, she launched her first solo charity campaign for child welfare, which saw her bring “together experts from academia, education, health and other fields to work on how to help families tackle anti-social behaviour, addiction and mental health”.
Speaking to the Mail a source close to the Duchess said: “She has seen again and again just how often problems like this can be traced back to the earliest years of someone’s life.
“She’s committed to bringing about change in this area.”