Kate set for ‘milestone moment’ as project she’s worked on for years lands results today

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KATE, Duchess of Cambridge is set to deliver a passionate speech focusing on the early years development of children to coincide with the release of her landmark study which has been hailed as a “milestone moment” for the mum-of-three.

Prince William’s wife will speak at an online Royal Foundation forum on Friday as her in-depth research into early childhood comes to light. In a keynote speech the duchess will discuss the findings of the study – the largest of its kind in the UK on perceptions of how a child develops. More than half-a-million people responded to the duchess’ call to take part in the survey by answering five key questions.

While Kate has long focused on babies and children’s development in her role since joining the Royal Family, it is understood the duchess will come across in a new light as she sets out her commitment to the issue.

She will warn of the crucial role early years play in raising a generation of adults and shaping society as a whole.

The duchess will say in her keynote address: “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.

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Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge is set for a ‘milestone moment’ with the release of her survey (Image: GETTY)

kate middleton royal news

Kate helps children feed a pet lamb at a nursery (Image: GETTY)

“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.

“They are about the society we will become.”

Kate’s study found that only one in four people recognised the critical importance of the first five years of a child’s life.

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Kate accepts a bouquet of flowers from a little girl (Image: GETTY)

The results showed 98 percent believe that nurture is essential to lifelong outcomes for a child.

And less than a quarter (24 percent) said they thought the time a child is in the womb up until their fifth birthday was the key period when it comes to determining health and happiness in adulthood.

Kensington Palace described the study as a “milestone moment” for Kate’s work to raise awareness of early years development.

In 2021 Kate will announce ambitious plans to build on her work in this area, the palace said.

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Kate chats with children during a planting exercise (Image: GETTY)

kate middleton royal news

The Duchess of Cambridge has long focused on the early years development of children (Image: GETTY)

A source said: “This week is very much a milestone moment for the duchess’s work in this area.”

And referring to social challenges such as mental health, family breakdown, addiction and homelessness, they added: “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.”

The Royal Foundation’s survey was carried out by polling giant Ipsos MORI.

The results showed that although 90 percent see parental mental health and wellbeing as critical to a child’s development, only 10 percent of parents admitted they took time to look after themselves in the run up to the birth of their baby.

The study – which has produced five key insights – also showed that the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased parental loneliness, with 38 percent experiencing this before the crisis, and 63 percent – almost two-thirds – after the first lockdown, a jump of a quarter.

Other findings include how feeling judged can make a bad situation worse, with seven out of every 10 parents saying they felt judged by other parents.

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Kate and William pose with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis (Image: GETTY)

Almost half (48 percent) said this negatively affected their mental health.

The survey aims to encourage a nationwide conversation on the subject and raise awareness of how the first five years of a child’s life will impact the next 50 years in UK society.

The research included further qualitative and ethnographic research, a nationally representative survey conducted before the pandemic and, at Kate’s request, a further survey on the impact of COVID-19 on families.

Source: EXPRESS CO UK

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