Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, wants to help build a “more nurturing society” for children.
The 38-year-old royal spoke about the importance of “the early years” of life in a speech on Friday (11.27.20) through the Royal Foundation she shares with her husband Prince William, and said she’s determined to create a “happier, healthier society” that has “happier, healthier children” as a result.
The speech came as her office at Kensington Palace released the results of her UK-wide ‘5 Big Questions on the Under Fives’ survey on the early years of childhood, which Catherine says needs greater aid.
She said: “We must do all we can to tackle these issues and to elevate the importance of the early years, so that together we can build a more nurturing society. Because I believe, the early years should be on par with the other great social challenges and opportunities of our time. And next year, we will announce ambitious plans to support this objective.
“What you do isn’t for the quick win – it is for the big win. It is for a happier, healthier society as well as happier, healthier children. Only by working together can we bring about lasting change for the generations to come. Because I truly believe, big change starts small.”
Catherine believes supporting young children can play a “critical role” in shaping their futures, and says she “cares hugely” about the subject.
She added: “Over the last decade I, like many of you, 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. But I have also seen how positive protective factors in the early years can play a critical role in shaping our futures too. And I care hugely about this.”
The royal also opened up on why the topic means so much to her, as she admitted it has nothing to do with her being a mother of three herself.
Catherine – who has Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two, with William – said in her speech: “People often ask why I care so passionately about the early years. Many mistakenly believe that my interest stems from having children of my own. While of course, I care hugely about their start in life, this ultimately sells the issue short.
“Parenthood isn’t a prerequisite for understanding the importance of the early years. If we only expect people to take an interest in the early years 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.”