Kate, Princess of Wales, has penned an op-ed to shine the light on an issue close to her heart.
In a strongly-worded comment piece for the Daily Telegraph, the Princess of Wales noted how much research has proved the that brains develop faster than at any other time during the first five years in the life of a child.
Despite the evidence available of how experiences made in the early years can shape the ability to form relationship, be successful and have a good mental and physical health, there is still work to do in support of babies under the age of five and their parents or carers.
Kate wrote: “But not enough is being done. If we are going to tackle the sorts of complex challenges we face today like homelessness, violence and addiction, which are so often underpinned by poverty and poor mental health, we have to fully appreciate those most preventative years and do everything we can to nurture our children and those who care for them.”
In her op-ed, the Duchess said there is a “unique opportunity” available, given the plethora of research provided by experts, to make a “difference to the mental and physical health of generations to come” – and pledged to play a role in this effort.
She wrote: “That is why I am determined to continue to shine a light on this issue and to do everything I can to secure much greater focus on those first crucial few years for the youngest members of our society – they are, after all, our future.”
Kate had already been outspoken about how supporting early development means raising the next generation of adults with better health and stronger chances to succeed in life in November 2020.
At the time, she delivered a keynote speech during the What the UK Thinks About the Early Years virtual forum hosted by the Royal Foundation, in which she explained she isn’t so passionate about the early years just because she is a mother.
“If we only expect people to take an interest when they have children, we are not only too late for them, we are underestimating the huge role others can play in shaping our most formative years too.”
A few months later, in June 2021, the Princess of Wales joined forces with the US First Lady, Dr Jill Biden, to pen a comment piece in which they called both their countries to prioritise early childhood care and education.
They wrote in an article published by the CNN: “We both have work to do in our own countries, but we also hope that we can work together across borders and oceans on how to elevate the importance of early care and learning for children.
“As we look to a post-pandemic future, there are few issues more worthy of our attention than the transformative power of early childhood care and education for our communities and nations. We look forward to championing this work in the years to come.”
Last summer, Kate also launched the Centre for Early Childhood with the aim to support, deliver and showcase research on promote the best practice on the topic as well as collaborate with people from the public, private and charitable sectors to make positive change.
Most poignantly, in June Kate hosted a group of experts and decision-makers – including the then Health Secretary Sajid Javid, to call for education on mental and physical health to be given equal weight to tackle “today’s toughest social challenges”.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK