Kate Middleton to hold talks with senior government ministers

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The Duchess of Cambridge is to host a round-table discussion on the importance of early childhood development and its links to mental health with senior government ministers today.

Alongside The Royal Foundation Center for Early Childhood, she will meet Health Secretary Sajid Javid, families minister Will Quince, representatives from the early years sector and officials from the Department for Education and the Department of Health and Social Care.

The discussion will focus on new findings by her center showing that nine in 10 (91%) agree that early years are important in shaping children’s lives, although less than a fifth (17%) recognize the unique importance of children’s development from birth to the age of five.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Kate, 40, said: ‘Our experiences in early childhood fundamentally impact our whole life and set the foundation for how we go on to thrive as individuals, with one another, as a community and as a society.

‘The findings published today present us with a huge opportunity and demonstrate there is real appetite from the public to bring this issue up all of our agendas.

‘There is more we can all do – every member of society can play a key role, whether that is directly with a child or by investing in the adults around them – the parents, the carers, the early years workforce and more.’

The findings show that seven in 10 (70%) people believe early years development should be more of a priority for society.

The Duchess of Cambridge (pictured in January 2020 visiting the LEYF (London Early Years Foundation) Stockwell Gardens Nursery & Pre-school) is to host a round-table discussion on the importance of early childhood development and its links to mental health with senior government ministers today

The Duchess of Cambridge (pictured in January 2020 visiting the LEYF (London Early Years Foundation) Stockwell Gardens Nursery & Pre-school) is to host a round-table discussion on the importance of early childhood development and its links to mental health with senior government ministers today

Alongside The Royal Foundation Center for Early Childhood, Kate (pictured on Monday) will meet Health Secretary Sajid Javid, families minister Will Quince, representatives from the early years sector and officials from the Department for Education and the Department of Health and Social Care

Alongside The Royal Foundation Center for Early Childhood, Kate (pictured on Monday) will meet Health Secretary Sajid Javid, families minister Will Quince, representatives from the early years sector and officials from the Department for Education and the Department of Health and Social Care

Meanwhile over half (55%) of the public recognizes that future mental health is the most likely part of adult life to be affected by one’s early years, followed by the ability to create and maintain relationships (51%) and future happiness (40% ).

The duchess set up her research center after working with academics and professionals in the field who believe what happens to the youngest members of society has a direct affect on their lives as adults, including their mental health, addiction and social exclusion, as well as their physical wellbeing.

The Ipso research commissioned by her Center for Early Childhood shows that informal groups are the key source of support for parents, with more than half of parents of children aged 0 to five stating their family or friends were the best source of information on their child’s emotional and social development.

Despite all of this, parents are still more likely to seek out information and advice on their child’s physical health than they are on their social or emotional development, with 35 per cent asking for advice on nutrition, while just 21 per cent seek advice on the development of social skills.

The discussion will focus on new findings by her center showing that nine in 10 (91%) agree that early years are important in shaping children¿s lives, although less than a fifth (17%) recognize the unique importance of children¿s development from birth to the age of five.  Pictured, Kate interacts with children during a cooking workshop at PACT (Parents and Children Together) in Southwark in February 2022

The discussion will focus on new findings by her center showing that nine in 10 (91%) agree that early years are important in shaping children’s lives, although less than a fifth (17%) recognize the unique importance of children’s development from birth to the age of five. Pictured, Kate interacts with children during a cooking workshop at PACT (Parents and Children Together) in Southwark in February 2022

The Duchess of Cambridge sits on a log with children at Sayers Croft Forest School and Wildlife Garden at Paddington Recreation Ground, London, in 2018

The Duchess of Cambridge sits on a log with children at Sayers Croft Forest School and Wildlife Garden at Paddington Recreation Ground, London, in 2018

Kelly Beaver, chief executive of Ipsos UK and Ireland, which carried out the polling of over 4,000 UK adults from April 21 to May 5, added: ‘Although the majority of us agree that the experiences people have in childhood can have a significant impact on their future, a minority of Britons recognize the unique importance of the first five years of a child’s life.

‘These formative years are crucial in the emotional, social and physical development of every child and this critical new research, for The Royal Foundation Center for Early Childhood, provides the opportunity for society to ignite a discussion about how parents and children can be better supported during this period.’

The duchess has previously visited Denmark to learn more about their investment in early childhood development, having launched The Royal Foundation Center for Early Childhood in June 2021, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of early years experiences in shaping society over the long term.

The duchess has previously visited Denmark (pictured with Queen Margrethe of Denmark and Princess Mary) to learn more about their investment in early childhood development, having launched The Royal Foundation Center for Early Childhood in June 2021, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of early years experiences in shaping society over the long term

The duchess has previously visited Denmark (pictured with Queen Margrethe of Denmark and Princess Mary) to learn more about their investment in early childhood development, having launched The Royal Foundation Center for Early Childhood in June 2021, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of early years experiences in shaping society over the long term

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