The Duchess of Cambridge put the royal drama over Meghan Markle and Prince Harry behind her as she kicked off a 24-hour tour in Birmingham to highlight her new project. Kate will also travel to London, Cardiff and Surrey as she launches the initiative to ask “five big questions on the under fives” which will guide her future work on the subject.
The online poll, conducted by Ipsos Mori for the Royal Foundation, is thought to be the biggest survey of its kind and aims to spark a nationwide conversation on early childhood.
Kate looked smart in a green blouse teamed with stylish black wide leg trousers as she joined a group of youngsters, health professionals, parents and supporters of her project at Birmingham’s Thinktank science museum.
The mother-of-three said: “I’m here today to help launch a survey to hear society’s views about raising the next generation.
“Parents, carers and families are at the heart of caring for children in the formative years, so that is why I want to listen to them.
“As a parent I know how much we cherish the future health and happiness of our children.
“I want to hear the key issues affecting our families and communities so I can focus my work on where it is needed most.
“My ambition is to provide a lasting change for generations to come.”
“They help us avoid adversity, or certainly builds resilience to adversity in later life – prevent challenges with mental later down the line.
“It is estimated that there’s a huge social and economic cost to late intervention of £17bn in England and Wales.
“The early years are more crucial for future health and happiness than any other moment in our lifetime.”
Kate has established a steering group of experts, which first met in May 2018, to look at the issue of early years development of children.
Her survey will run from January 21 to February 21 and it will ask those taking part five questions to find out their views about early years.
Jasmine Norris, assistant manager at St Paul’s Nursery in the Balsall Heath area of Birmingham, brought eight children to the event and spoke to Kate.
She said: “I think early years is vital, incredibly important. I think we help the children to move on into their future education, and their lives.
“We want them to be the best they can be – we want to prepare them for life.”
David Holmes, chief executive of Family Action which has Kate as its patron, also attended.
He said: “Every parent, carer and family wants the best for their child, and raising the profile of the vital early years in a child’s life is work of national importance.
“The insight from this survey will give the early years sector valuable direction in designing and delivering services and support which reflect what matters most to people.”