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Princess of Wales launches Early Years Campaign

Kate Middleton has kicked off a new campaign designed to support children develop during their early years which is considered to be her ‘life’s work’.

Known as ‘Shaping Us’, a long-term campaign funded by The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, which was founded by Kate Middleton in 2021, aims to increase the public understanding of the importance of the first five years of a child’s life. 

two children sitting on ground with dried leaves

The Princess of Wales has spent the last 10 years researching childhood development and believes it ‘fundamentally shapes our whole lives’. 

A 90-second clay animation film has been released as part of the launch, which shows how a little girl named Layla develops from pregnancy to the age of five. Viewers will see how the young girls interactions with people and places – from her parents’ cuddles to a reassuring arm on her shoulder from a nursery teacher and a supportive cheer from a swimming teacher – stimulate her brain and development. 

According to data sourced from the Centre for Early Childhood, an estimated one in three adults reported knowing little or nothing about how children develop in their early childhood.

Additionally, this follows on from research conducted last year which highlighted that very few people recognised the unique importance of the zero to five period compared to other stages of life.

The Princess of Wales said: ‘The way we develop, through our experiences, relationships, and surroundings during our early childhood, fundamentally shape our whole lives.

‘It affects everything from our ability to form relationships and thrive at work, to our mental and physical well-being as adults and the way we parent our own children.

‘These are the most preventative years. By focusing our collective time, energy, and resources to build a supportive, nurturing world around the youngest members of our society and those caring for them, we can make a huge difference to the health and happiness of generations to come’.

Kate Middleton has also claimed that supporting children is more important now than ever as severe strains have been placed on families from the pandemic and cost-of-living struggles.

According to research conducted by Action for Children before the pandemic over four million children were living in poverty although the figure dropped to 3.9 million in 2020/21 due to the temporary £20 increase of universal credit.

However, since the cost-of-living began to bite, benefits failed to rise with inflation levels meaning more households were left to choose between whether to buy food or heat their homes.

Alongside the launch of this campaign which is designed to help children live a better quality of life, children’s homes – that have been closed down in Doncaster – were found to have been abusing children, prompted Ofsted to ensure future investigations into these types of establishments are more thorough to make sure children are 100% safe and happy.

Photo by Marcus Wallis

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