Kate Middleton is continuing her ongoing work highlighting the importance of supporting children from a young age.
On Wednesday, the Princess of Wales joined a family portage session at a specialist center in Kent. Portage is a service in England and Wales for children with special educational needs and disabilities from birth until preschool age, and it works with families to aid in the development of their kids through learning and playing. The service provides home learning sessions led by trained practitioners.
The National Portage Association, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, works with over 100 Portage services, providing a quality framework and training for practitioners and parents.
Princess Kate, 41, saw a sensory development class with a group of children with a range of needs. She met with the families and frontline workers to understand how portage supports them on a daily basis.
Earlier this year, the royal launched the Shaping Us campaign for her Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood.
“The campaign is fundamentally about shining a spotlight on the critical importance of early childhood and how it shapes the adults we become,” Kate said in a speech surrounding the project’s launch. “This is why it is essential, to not only understand the unique importance of our earliest years but to know what we can all do to help raise future generations of happy, healthy adults.”
Just like the Royal Foundation’s Heads Together campaign, which focused on creating an openness to talk about mental health, “the Princess really wants this campaign to bring about change in the way that we think about and see the importance of early years,” a spokesperson at Kensington Palace said. The spokesperson added that the campaign was just the start and that the cause would be a “golden thread throughout her working life.”
Kate’s mission has taken her everywhere from the classroom to the rugby field to highlight how to best support children and set them up for success.
Earlier this month, Prince William and Princess Kate stepped out together to join schoolchildren for an outdoor lesson at their forest school. Each child at Madley Primary School in Hereford attends a class in nature at least once a week, learning their regular required lessons as well as environmental awareness, conservation and woodland management.
According to the school’s website, “Forest school is a fully integrated part of our curriculum and is accessible to all year groups, not just building dens but finding out about ecology, experiencing writing in the woods, construction from natural materials, using equipment safely, using knives correctly and enjoying a stimulating environment.”