The Princess of Wales warns that “enough is not being done” to feed Britain’s youngest children, as she pledges to use her role to do “everything she can” to protect the next generation.
The Princess, writing in the Telegraph, says she is determined to ‘shed some light’ on the ‘crucial’ early years, calling the younger members of society ‘our future’.
Outlining her mission for the next phase of her life in the royal family, she talks about the paramount importance of building a “safe and loving world around a child.”
By focusing on the “unique importance” of the first five years of life, he says, it is possible to “create a healthier and happier society for future generations.”
She adds: “There are fantastic examples of what can be achieved when we recognize the unique potential of early childhood and build a safe and loving world around a child.
“But not enough is being done. That’s why I’m determined to continue to shed light on this issue and to do everything I can to ensure that more attention is paid to those crucial early years for the youngest members of our society – after all, they are our future.
Princess’s engagement follows a decade of work in the public eye, in which she focused closely on the development of the early years.
The Telegraph has published a detailed analysis of the sector, detailing the challenges it faces and how the Princess Early Childhood Center is working to improve the lives of young children and their caregivers.
Following is research compiled by the center that highlights a widespread lack of understanding about the importance of children’s early developmental years.
Experts now say early intervention is the key to improving life outcomes for everyone, with a study by the London School of Economics estimating it costs £16bn to remedy long-term mental and physical health problems that may have been avoided through childhood intervention.
The Princess, under her former title of Duchess of Cambridge, has already embarked on a series of awareness campaigns on the importance of early childhood, with a regular schedule of engagements aimed at reviving the sector.
“Unique Potential of Early Childhood”
Now he has vowed to continue the mission to convince audiences of the “unique potential of early childhood” and the possibility of “building a safe and loving world around a child.”
Next week, he will take his message to Boston in the United States, as part of a three-day trip focused on the Prince of Wales’ Earthshot Prize.
In 2023, it is expected to undertake a further awareness campaign as part of the next phase of the project.
Explaining why she has chosen to dedicate her working life in the royal family to the subject, she says that ten years of interviewing experts have left her “increasingly sure of one thing: if we create a healthier and happier society for future generations, we must begin by understanding and recognizing the unique importance of the first five years of life”.
She adds: “If we are to address the kind of complex challenges we face today such as homelessness, violence and addiction, so often underpinned by poverty and mental ill health, we need to fully appreciate those more preemptive years and do all we can to feed the our children and those who care for them”.
In a call to action, the Princess adds: ‘We have an incredible opportunity, armed with everything we now know as a result of the work of dedicated scientists, researchers and professionals, to make a huge difference to the mental and physical health of generations to come.”
Princess’s work is informed by 30 years of expert research into the importance of the early years. In recent years, she has convened a steering group of expert advisers, which has led to the launch of the Royal Foundation Early Childhood Center for further research and public campaigning.
Amanda Berry, Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Foundation, said: “The Princess of Wales has developed a real knowledge and passion for this work over the past decade and has made it clear that in her new role her commitment is as strong as ever.
“Ensuring that people understand the importance of the first five years of a child’s life and the huge impact early childhood has on shaping the rest of our lives will continue to be a major focus of HRH’s work.
“This is also where the Royal Foundation Center for Early Childhood is uniquely placed to help.
“There is already so much good work going on in the early childhood sector – what we can do is shed some light on the issue, draw public attention to it and by doing so create a climate for change and an environment where children and very young children have priority”.