Speaking about the survey during the conversation, the Duchess said: "I think ultimately if you look at who’s caring and looking after and nurturing children in the most vital period from pregnancy all the way to the age of five, you know parents and carers are right at the heart of that, and families are right at the heart of that, and although I’ve spoken to the scientists and the service providers, it’s so important to listen to families. What is it that they aspire to? What are their challenges? What we’re doing with the survey is asking people – what is it that matters for them in raising their children today. It’s going to take a long time – I’m talking about a generational change – but hopefully this is the first small step: to start a conversation around the importance of Early Childhood development. It’s not just about happy, healthy children. This is for lifelong consequences and outcomes."
When asked what parts of her childhood she would want to give her own children, the Duchess recalled memories with her grandmother and spoke of the importance of quality relationships:
“If I take the experience from my own childhood, coupled with what I know now and what I’ve learnt from the experts in the Early Years sector, I think there’s a few things that really stand out for me.
"One is quality of relationships. So, those moments that you spend with people that are around you. I remember that from my own childhood. I had an amazing Granny who devoted a lot of time to us, playing with us, doing arts and crafts and going to the greenhouse to do gardening, and cooking with us, and I try and incorporate a lot of the experiences that she gave us at the time into the experiences that I give my children now.
"There are also the environments you spend time in as well: a happy home, a safe environment. As children, we spent a lot of time outside and it’s something I’m really passionate about. I think it’s so great for physical and mental wellbeing and laying [developmental] foundations. It’s such a great environment to spend time in, building those quality relationships without the distractions of ‘I’ve got to cook’ and ‘I’ve got to do this’. And actually, it’s so simple.”
Sunday Times No.1 bestselling author Giovanna Fletcher said: “It doesn’t matter who you are, what you have, or where you come from - we’re all trying to do our best with our children while continuously doubting our decisions and wondering if we’re getting it completely wrong. Talking helps unite us all. Having been with the Duchess of Cambridge on a couple of engagements to celebrate the launch of the 5 Big Questions survey, it was clear how passionate she is about the Early Years. It was then beyond wonderful to sit and talk further about the survey, her work – for which she has so much knowledge, and her own experiences of being a mother. This is a very special episode of the podcast and I’m very excited for people to hear it.” Giovanna is married to Tom Fletcher from the band McFly. They have three children Buzz, Max and Buddy. She often speaks very openly about her own family and experiences.
The popular podcast has seen Giovanna speak to a host of well-known faces including Kate Ferdinand, Jessie Ware, Katherine Jenkins, Caitlin Moran, Nadiya Hussain and Davina McCall about parenting. The podcast very much focuses on the importance of supporting each other and not only discussing the amazing moments but the challenging times every parent faces. One of the best aspects of this survey has been hearing Kate's voice more, it adds another layer to her early years work. Hearing directly from the royals in their own words is the most effective way to share messages on the causes closest to their hearts.
A quick refresher on Kate's look in the new image shared. The Duchess wore a petrol blue coat (it remains unidentified), Sézane Tulio Jumper, Accessorize earrings and Russell & Bromley Fab Dry boots during the visit to (LEFY) Stockwell Gardens Nursery and Pre-school in London.
Omid Scobie reports members of the press heard the content during a Kensington Palace briefing and said the Duchess was incredibly candid. "She spoke about parts of her own childhood and some of the things she would have taught herself if she knew what she knew now. I think what really stood out from this was just Kate speaking from the heart. She talks about how motherhood has been challenging and how her first pregnancy with Prince George was the toughest experience of her life. She said she was actually quite excited about giving birth, because it meant the end of that chapter." Kate also shared fun anecdotes about the the day she and William took George home and how William practiced putting a doll in the baby car seat in preparation for the Lindo Wing departure. The podcast will be live at 4 pm (GMT) tomorrow, when it's uploaded click here to listen to it. I'm very much looking forward to hearing it in its entirety.
UPDATE: To celebrate the launch of the podcast, Kate shared a new photo of Charlotte which she discussed with Giovanna.
“I’ve got this one photo of Charlotte smelling a bluebell, and really for me it’s moments like that mean so much to me as a parent. I try every day to put moments like that in, even if they’re small or even if I don’t have time” - The Duchess of Cambridge
With George and Charlotte on half term break for the coming week, I wouldn't expect we'll see Kate undertaking engagements. On Wednesday, 26 February, Kate, Patron of SportsAid, will visit the London Stadium at the Olympic Park in Stratford to join a SportsAid event dedicated to celebrating the role that parents and guardians play in their child’s sporting success.