Duchess of Cambridge sets up early childhood research unit and believes issue is ‘social equivalent to climate change’ | UK News

Duchess of Cambridge sets up early childhood research unit and believes issue is ‘social equivalent to climate change’ | UK News

The Duchess of Cambridge has set up a research centre for early childhood – the culmination of 10 years of work. 

Becoming the first royal to set up a research unit of this kind, Kate has signalled she wants early childhood development to be taken as seriously as climate change.

The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood will be based on research showing the first five years of childhood fundamentally shape adulthood, and challenges adults face such as addiction, violence, family breakdown and mental health have their roots in the earliest years of life.

The centre will focus on research, developing solutions with public and private voluntary sectors, and campaigning to raise awareness.

Prince William, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, watch as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team Red Arrows performs a flypast during Trooping the Colour parade in London, Britain June 8, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
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A royal aide says the duchess regards the issue as the ‘social equivalent to climate change’

It will employ around six members of staff to begin with and will be based at the Royal Foundation’s offices in London.

Kate, a mother of three young children, marked the launch with a video where she appeared wearing a necklace engraved with her children’s initials.

“Working closely with others, the centre hopes to raise awareness of why the first five years of life are just so important for our future life outcomes, and what we can do as a society to embrace this golden opportunity to create a happier, more mentally healthy, more nurturing society.

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“By working together, my hope is that we can change the way we think about early childhood, and transform lives for generations to come. Because I truly believe big change starts small.”

Part of the plan includes engaging teenagers with the science of early childhood brain development, so they are aware if they become parents later on.

The duchess, a future queen, has been working in this area for the last 10 years.

The duchess has been working in the area for 10 years
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The duchess has been working in the area for 10 years

After looking first at addiction, family breakdown and mental health, she then went back to explore the school environment and early years.

A royal aide told Sky News: “The duchess has made the observation that the more you learn about the science of early childhood, whether it’s brain development, social science, what it means for our adult mental health, the more you realise that this is the social equivalent to climate change, but it is not discussed with the same seriousness or strategic intent that that issue is.

“And so, her mission for the last few years has been exploring what is the best way for her to build something, build relationships, her own knowledge, expertise, so that she can help position this work with that sort of importance.”



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