Princess Kate is being celebrated by U.K. Parliament.
The Princess of Wales, 41, was recognized for raising awareness around the importance of the early years in the House of Commons Education Committee’s “Support for childcare and the early years” report, released last week. Princess Kate got a shout-out for the ongoing work of her Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, established in June 2021 and the most significant step in her long-term mission to help kids and parents.
“The Princess of Wales has done important work to raise the profile of the Early Years through her Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood. Its 2020 report ‘State of the Nation: Understanding Public Attitudes to the Early Years’ stressed the importance of elevating the importance of the early years period in the public consciousness,” the Education Committee said in the paper, published July 18.
“The ECEC sector is independent, multi-faceted and diverse, and does not always benefit from the same structural lines of communication through local authorities as the school sector. More outreach and strong channels of communication between the sector and the Government are needed to ensure that practitioners feel both valued and heard,” it continued. The committee also suggested that change is needed to improve low morale among early years practitioners, particularly around pay.
Children’s issues have long been a part of Princess Kate’s royal charity work, and she’s honed her focus in recent years on early childhood development and the critical role caretakers play in the first few years of life. To raise awareness to the next level, Princess Kate launched the landmark “Shaping Us” campaign in January as an offshoot of The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood.
The Royal Foundation defines the long-term Shaping Us initiative as “a major new awareness-raising campaign to increase public understanding of the crucial importance of the first five years of a child’s life.” The campaign hopes to transform “the issue from one of scientific interest to one of the most strategically important topics of our time,” a statement says.
Princess Kate has made multiple solo engagements to spread the Shaping Us mission ever since, from spending time with students pursuing Childhood Studies at the University of Leeds to learning more about children’s services at the Windsor Family Hub and chatting with Maidenhead Rugby Club players about how childhood who they are today — after hitting the pitch, of course!
A mom of three, Kate shares Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5, with her husband Prince William. In a kickoff speech for Shaping Us over the winter, she touched on how the early years shape the rest of our lives.
“The campaign is fundamentally about shining a spotlight on the critical importance of early childhood and how it shapes the adults we become,” she said in January. “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.”
“Those involved in raising children today need the very best information and support in helping to achieve this mission — and this campaign aims to help do that too,” she added.