Friday, 18 June 2021

The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood Aims to Make "Transformative Impact"

The Duchess of Cambridge officially launched the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood during two special engagements today. It was revealed at midnight the centre is the culmination of a decade of Kate's work and learning in the area. It will be based at Kensington Palace and run by the Royal Foundation with a team of six staff working on three objectives: promoting and commissioning high-quality research to increase knowledge and share best practice; working with people from across the private, public and voluntary sectors to collaborate on new solutions; and developing creative campaigns to raise awareness and inspire action, driving real, positive change on the early years.

Kate's first port of call was a roundtable discussion at the London School of Economics.

Kensington Palace said, "For over ten years, the Duchess of Cambridge has seen first-hand how some of today’s hardest social challenges – from addiction and violence to family breakdown and homelessness, so often underpinned by poor mental health – have their roots in the earliest years of life.  In that time, the Duchess also convened a steering group of experts to look at how cross-sector collaboration could bring about lasting change, and spent time listening to the public about their views on the importance of the early years. As a result, Her Royal Highness is committed to elevating the importance of early childhood and continuing the conversation on this vital issue. The launch of The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood is a landmark step in Her Royal Highness’ work and signals her lifelong commitment to improving outcomes across society."

In a video shared this morning, Kate described the centre as a chance to "embrace this golden opportunity to create a happier, more mentally healthy, more nurturing society".

Chair of the Royal Foundation, former Conservative party leader, Lord Hague spoke about the centre:

"The launch of the Centre for Early Childhood is a pivotal moment in the Duchess of Cambridge’s work on this critical issue.  Her Royal Highness and The Royal Foundation are determined to help bring about lasting change for future generations.

The Duchess and the Foundation will aim to bring people together from all corners of the country and all parts of society to help improve early childhoods and ultimately lifelong outcomes.  Over the coming years, the Centre will help to create better understanding of the relevant issues, making it clear why the experiences we have in our earliest years are so important - not just to us as individuals but to society at large."

It follows Kate's early years survey, 5 Big Questions, which was carried out last year, garnering half a million responses. The findings discovered that "most people don't understand the specific importance of early years". New research commissioned by the Royal Foundation and conducted by You Gov found the impact of the pandemic has been devastating and parents of young children have "continued to feel lonelier as the pandemic has continued", with those who always/often feel lonely increasing from 9 per cent in October 2020 to 16 per cent in May 2021.

The BBC reports:

'A royal aide said Catherine felt early childhood was the "social equivalent to climate change" but it was not discussed "with the same seriousness". Kensington Palace described the centre as "a landmark step" in her work.

The duchess said she wanted to "create a happier, more mentally healthy, more nurturing society". An aide said the development would shape her future focus as a senior royal.

"The duchess has made the observation that the more you learn about the science of early childhood, whether it's brain development, social science, what it means for our adult mental health, the more you realise that this is the social equivalent to climate change," they said. "But it is not discussed with the same seriousness or strategic intent that that issue is."'

More from People:

'The center, which will be staffed initially with half a dozen people, aims to promote and commission research, work with the public, private and voluntary sectors to come up with answers and create imaginative campaigns to raise awareness and inspire change.

Royal aides add that one of those areas might be to look at how to make the science of early childhood brain development compelling to a teenage audience that might be helpful for when they then become parents themselves.'

To coincide with the launch, the centre's inaugural report, Big Change Starts Small, has been published. It sets out recommendations on how we can all contribute to the issue whilst bringing together leading research from experts in the sector. In the foreword, the Duchess reflected on her own journey over the past decade: "When first undertaking royal duties a decade ago, I started meeting inspiring people who were rebuilding their lives from challenges such as addiction, homelessness, violence - and the mental ill health that often underpins these experiences." Kate revealed the "recurrence of these conversations" drove her to "want to learn more".

During today's roundtable discussion with leading academics and practitioners working across the early years sectors, the report's recommendations were discussed.

Experts included Dr Alain Gregoire, Founder and Honorary President of Maternal Mental Health Alliance; Professor Eamon McCrory, Professor of Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology, University College London; Professor Martin Knapp, Professor of Health and Social Care Policy, Professorial Research Fellow (CPEC), London School of Economics; Dr Guddi Singh, Paediatric Registrar, Guy's & St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust; and Alison Morton, Executive Director, Institute of Health Visiting.

The Duchess wrote about her mission for the centre: "In establishing the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, our mission is to drive awareness of, and action on, the transformative impact of the early years. We aim to change the way people think about early childhood -- and this report is our first step. We will help to make change through fresh research to identify opportunities, collaborations to scale solutions and creative campaigns to bring the issue to life." Kate concluded this will be achieved by "continuing to listen to others and being informed by the data". "It won't be easy -- transformation never is -- but big change starts small."

The report was written in collaboration with the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University and the London School of Economics. It reveals the staggering cost of "lost opportunity" in England alone is £16 billion per year. Kensington Palace noted, "This is the cost to society of the remedial steps we take to address issues – from children in care to short and long term mental and physical health issues - that might have been avoided through action in early childhood."

The report can be read in its entirety here. Below, a portion of the executive summary:

'Early childhood represents one of the best investments wecan make for the long-term health, wellbeing and happiness of our society. Our future outcomes, whether they be academic, economic or health-related (including mental health), are profoundly shaped by our first five years. Yet The Royal Foundation’s landmark public survey on early childhood, conducted by Ipsos MORI in 2020, revealed that recognition of the importance of the early years is low.

This report is published to coincide with the launch of The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood. It is a summary of decades of science on early childhood and research on why the early years matter. By bringing this body of evidence together, we hope to demonstrate the strategic importance of this vital issue to everybody. Just as decades of climate science breakthroughs have shown a path towards a more sustainable future, so too can these insights demonstrate the power of early childhood in building strong, healthy societies. That is the purpose of this report and the underlying strategic thought of The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood.

This report also aims to show unequivocally that, by working together, there are real opportunities for us all — as caregivers, professionals, communities, businesses and society more widely — to prioritise the early years and to change the way we think about early childhood development. And it is in our common interests to do so. Providing as much protection as we can in the early years (from pregnancy through to the age of five) is our best opportunity to address today’s mental health crisis and to secure our long-term health and wellbeing.'

The report's conclusion reads: "The time for action is now. The pandemic has provided a moment for reflection on the society that we can be. With a greater focus on early childhood, we have the opportunity to build a happier society and one that is mentally and physically healthier. Nobody can pretend that this will be an ‘easy fix’. Identifying where to target preventative and early intervention work can in practice be hard. However, thanks to a huge and growing body of research from across disciplines, we know a great deal more now than at any point in the past about how to make a positive difference."

From there it was back to Kensington Palace where Kate reunited with families she has met over the past decade. These groups of parents have helped shape the Duchess' understanding of the importance of providing support for parents.

People reports:

'Taking place in the café at Kensington Palace, the chat was a poignant reminder of the people she is trying to help: Parents and caretakers, and their young children. Some of those she met were those she has encountered in various engagements as she has crisscrossed the U.K. talking with people about some of the challenges they face.'

A video from the meetings.

Additionally, the Duchess has launched a new website to raise further awareness of the early years -- focusing on social and economic opportunities for change. The website will serve as a hub for the centre's research and both those working in the area and eager to take the first steps in learning more.

Kate chose a beautiful 'iris blue' dress by LK Bennett for the launch day.

The £225 crepe shift 'Dee' dress features an elegant sweetheart neckline, cap sleeves, a fitted silhouette and a pencil skirt. It's a part of LK Bennett's Ascot capsule collection (we didn't see the Cambridges attending the annual summer highlight this year). It's a fabulous summery dress and a splendid choice for today's events. It's available in limited sizing at LK Bennett and John Lewis.

Below, the 'Dee' dress in cream.


Kate sported her Gianvito Rossi 'praline' pumps.

The Duchess accessorised with her sapphire and diamond earrings.

The Duchess wore her Halcyon Days 'Maya' bangle.




The £160 Astley Clarke necklace is described as: "A celebration of vibrancy, this demi-fine Stilla gemstone pendant features a captivating table-cut lapis lazuli gem, set in 18 carat yellow gold plated sterling silver, and uses a spectacle setting to display the entire blue gemstone and show its complexities beautifully. This gemstone pendant is finished with a gold nugget detail and our signature Astley Clarke star-set lapis lazuli tag."


The £89 Spells of Love necklace is currently available for pre-order.

A reminder you can keep up to date with the centre and all the latest work and research by visiting the website here. I'm very much looking forward to seeing what the coming months hold.

42 comments:

  1. Tammy from California18 June 2021 at 17:10

    What an exciting day for Kate! A decade of learning, piecing together all coming full circle. I love this work so much and think it's so important!

    As for fashion: Her hair was curled so pretty and then summer rain...
    I don't like the earrings paired with the necklace. The necklace is a little "Boho" and the earrings are dress-up. I don't feel the styles mix. Maybe a nice understated pair of earrings would have been better or some hoops.

    Excited to watch the Early Years grow!

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  2. Wow! Kate goes for a "young Kate" look. This is Kate's look around 2011/2012. Knee length sheath dress, lower neckline. Love the color, love the dress. I think this look is the very best at hiding Kate's long torso -- one continuous line gives that smooth silhouette.

    I also really like Kate's wearing of several necklaces at once. A bit of quirk in an otherwise classic look.

    I love this look so much I'm not even going to complain about the brown socks shoes being back hahaha ...

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  3. ILoveElephants18 June 2021 at 17:28

    This outfit is giving off 2011 vibes.

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  4. What incredible work Kate is doing, I think this will stand with the DoE scheme and Prince’s Trust in terms of meaningful and long term impact. Whilst royal patronage has always benefitted good causes, I think the younger royals focus on less overall patronages but more input into the ones they fo have is absolutely the most productive in terms of results. So, so proud of our awesome Duchess.

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    1. Zora from Prague20 June 2021 at 19:24

      Well said, Annie!

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    2. We aren’t in Kansas anymore. This is Oz.

      The problem with so many patronages is that there’s too much overlapped and inefficiency. At the end of the day, there’s finite money in the pot and finite number of people who can volunteer and donate while serving the same clientele. It becomes too many board members, chairs, meetings all jockeying for that royal nod. It isn’t an efficient clearinghouse to run social service programs from. The set up becomes a way to employ people to manage volunteers and solicit for donations. More importantly, the system sets up competition among these charities. I’ve done charity auctions and the costs for venue, food&drinks, VIPs (the bunting, flowers, staff hours for the VIPs) the press kit eat up a good chunk of a charity budget.

      Many of these charities don’t get an annual royal visit (2019, 74% had no engagement). Some haven’t been visited in 10 years. The royals prefer to visit the royal charities they set up themselves. Having been designated a royal patronage charity did not help bring in more revenue when compared to charities without a royal patron.

      The study of British charities covered 3 million data points and examined charities in England and Wales in the last 25 years. The researchers verified each charity to the parliamentary constituency and used a two-way fixed-effects analyses. That’s a robust study.

      The point to this is as much as we support our royals, their effectiveness is in PR and tourism for the country. The Windsor is a successful global brand which is why they’ve trademarked and warranted everything they can, from gate, cleaning and hygiene products to broomsticks.

      It’s called a Firm for a reason.

      I don’t expect real changes here because as the Americans would say it’s “thoughts and prayers” moment. People can use “advocacy” instead of “lobbying” if that makes things more palatable. But changes don’t happen because people sit around making proclamation or talking to the Telegraph trying to appear to be the common man or woman. Women got the vote because women marched, were assaulted, jailed, and tortured, and they persisted despite institutional pushback. It took decades and generations. Women didn’t stand on the sideline, looking understated and queenly, while cutting ribbons to get the vote. It was hard work involving risk. Queen Victoria was the head of state and opposed women suffrage movement in GB, but her daughters (Alice, Louise, Helena) supported women’s rights and championed (lobbied) gainful employment and educational opportunities for women.

      More recently, Diana broke protocol and as imperfect and as she was, she won the people. She had heart and the guts to show it. It seems silly nowadays to think that royals couldn’t get down to talk to a child. Or hug AIDS patients (at a time when there was much misinformation and hysterical fear) or seek to rid the world of land mines.

      Change is measurable action. It’s also a measure of a person.



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  5. Wow and double Wow...to her work and to her fashion today. I love the dress, so feminine yet professional. The earrings and necklaces are perfect. Thanks Charlotte for this blog.

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  6. Yay!! These pumps are back. I have a similar pair and I was so bummed she hasn't worn them in a while! Love the whole look. She's rocking it!

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  7. Wow what a great couple of events. Love her look. Very pretty dress on her. Agree that the necklace and earrings are a bit of an odd mix, I also would have worn either a different necklace or gold hoops.

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  8. The Duchess looks beautiful as always. Picture perfect. More importantly the announcement of her own royal foundation is to be applauded. It's the coming together of her last 10 years work. How many children who end up before the courts, on drugs or with mental health problems have had a bad start in life. I wish her every success with it, which I'm sure it will be. Bit disappointed to see a so called royal correspondent trying to steal her spotlight today of all days. I really don't think anything or anyone can take from the amazing work she has done over the last ten years on behalf of the Queen and her people. It's the children and their families will reap the rewards of this foundation. Three cheers for Duchess Kate. S. 😁

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  9. This focus on early childhood interests me a great deal. It warms my heart to see Catherine investing so much energy into improving the lives of young children. My job as a home childcare provider has educated me to the truth of how important the early years are. What we absorb, see, and experience in those years stay with us forever. In the nitty, gritty of every day life we tend to forget that. At least I know I do. And the more help we as caregivers and parents get the better I say!

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  10. I must say Dss Kate settled very nicely into her new role. She is a hard working Lady. This is a fantastic cause. The children of today, are the rulers and parents of tomorrow. What children learn early in life will stay with them always. Lovely blue well fitting dress and jewelry. Dss Kate keep up the good work.

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  11. What a throwback to her early years. I think this proves that her older style was extremely classic as she can still wear the exact same items/cuts and looks great and not outdated at all. She already had an unbelievable accomplished look and it feels this style was and kind of is very iconic for her.
    C.

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  12. Ahhh! Finally back to the knee length sheath dress that I love on her. The lower neckline also gives her the youthful vibe. Love the overall look.

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  13. In order to be truly transformative about early childhood issues there needs to be significant resources positioned to support those goals. From high quality childcare to universal nursery school. As these are ultimately government priorities in how budgets are created it is not clear to me how this will not ultimately become political. And I have been told multiple times that the Royal Family may not under any circumstances be political. (Though I think this is a significantly grayer area than people realize). Research is important. But change will come from a society choosing to put its money where it’s mouth is. Ultimately that’s the responsibility of Parliament. Will The Duchess have a lobbying role in that case? If so I would be curious why that is permissible but her wearing black in solidarity with harassed women at the Baftas was absolutely forbidden due to “politics”

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    1. Well, research and highliting the issue is important first steps in transformation and Kate can do that perfectly well.

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    2. Do you know what she votes or what political party she supports? Has she said there’s lack of investment by the government? Has she told people to vote one party or another to secure children’s well-being? What we know is that she has used the money raised and donated to her foundation to create a research center backed up by dozens of organizations, institutes and universities to look for potential solutions. Nothing political about it. She’s been collaborating and funding via the Foundation programs that have been implemented in schools for both children and teachers that have been extremely successful. So maybe, just maybe, you could give her the benefit of the doubt and see that she may be able to do impactful things without having to involve the Government.

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    3. I don’t think we will ever see the Duchess in a lobbying role, it is just not Kate’s style (and it would be inappropriate). And that is maybe why she chose to go the route of a research centre. Getting the best information and data together and especially bringing different speciallities together, something the royals are very good at.
      But I think lots of people will be disappointed, the Research Centre is not going to (directly) bring about huge policy changes, there won’t be big and bright projects. It will rather be lots of meetings we won’t know about, reports we won’t read and behind the scenes work. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t make a huge contribution over the long term. But typical Kate it will be slow and steady and very much behind the scenes.

      And that is not to say that Kate won’t over the years step close to the line, or even over-step once or twice, we have seen Charles do it, William has done it. It is a very fine and ill-defined line. But I think a lot of thought has gone into creating a project that can make a contribution without embroiling Kate in politics.

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    4. I think people confuse supporting a topic with making a political statement? I mean Charles and Wiliam support climate change topics- the question how to tackle is an ongoing argument between political parties. They all are patrons of high culture organisations and very openly support them all while governments continuously cut back funding. Royals will back important causes they care about, they put them in the spotlight and try to encourage the people to do the same but that’s is not the same as openly approving or disapproving with certain parties.
      About the BAFTA engagement. I think Kate just didn’t want to go all the way. It was hardly an controversial thing to do. I mean, what impact would her going black or not really have had? What impact had wearing black anyway in retrospect?

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  14. This is a hugely important issue, and I hope this effort generates both more research and more resources. So much is involved, including children having housing and food. It seems like a herculean task, but of course it needs to be addressed for any changes to be made. Helping even a few is so much better than helping none. The US has people who care but not always the will to support monetarily what is needed. Just comparing good private schools with public schools in low-funded areas shows the great deficiencies. Fashion-wise, it was indeed one of her best looks! The umbrella was especially lovely! I love the extra bits of jewelry -- the earrings indeed seemed out of place, but then they do match her ring, so maybe OK! Love her bracelet, too.

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  15. Inez of Sweden19 June 2021 at 02:02

    I have the exact same rainbow umbrella! Its from Flying Tiger Copenhagen! In Sweden it costs 50kr, or 4.2 pounds. The colours and count are exactly the same:

    https://shop.se.flyingtiger.com/products/paraply-270099301

    Couldn't find it on the British website

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  16. Wow I love the duchess early year. project looking forward to watch ane learn. I myself would want to see how early project would be the duke cambridge launch earthshot prjocet and now the duchess cambridge launch early year project love actually the speech

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  17. Yes, I have the same umbrella too! It is clearly a nod to Pride Month. Well done Kate.

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  18. I thought the same -- that it is for Pride Month. Amazon has a similar one.

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  19. Here are examples of transformative programs in different countries:

    https://www.elle.com/culture/career-politics/a27496656/3-women-on-what-its-actually-like-to-have-universal-childcare/

    As you can see there are choices for parents. There is training even for nannies with government oversight. There’s accountability as well. What these countries are doing aren’t perfect, but they show what can be done when looking at how other countries provide universal childcare services.

    Here’s a breakdown of costs in the UK. Major problems facing parents are finding quality child education-care services and affordability. The other big factors are the great disparity in training and pay of early childhood educators and carers. Wealthy families can afford personal well trained nannies from expensive agencies along with elite pre-schools with long wait list and high fees. For the majority of families, finding space and paying for quality service can be difficult. One proposal is to cap childcare cost like they do in Sweden.

    https://ifs.org.uk/election/2019/article/early-education-and-childcare-spending

    The consequences of Covid and why UK staff are being paid £8/hour. We need to pay these people more! This is why governmental investment is needed in order to transform Kate’s vision into reality for families. Charities and think tanks will only maintain the status quo.

    https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/education/2020/09/why-britains-childcare-system-brink-collapse

    -say YES to expanded and better funded universal childcare

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    1. I read this whole movement as a way to "teach" all of us methods and the importance of working with young children in the most productive ways so as to give them the appropriate foundation, not just expecting care-takers, teachers and others to be the teachers. I think this all starts at home because the most infuential people in a child's life are those with whom they live and interact on a regular basis--they model more what we "do" rather than what we "say." We need to model how to deal with life's challenges such as stress, sadness, happiness, love, difficult situations, etc. And the model we have seen the most is how we were raised. I think she may be trying to inspire a bit of awareness and, if needed, change, and hopefully give us some tools to try in our own lives in case our "mentors" haven't been the best role models.

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    2. Anon 18:38 That's a really good point; even if there are no funds and no changes, there could still be a significant impact if parents and guardians learn something.

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    3. I agree with you, Anon 1838. The early childhood program that I was fortunate enough to qualify for when my son was small was called 'Parents As Teachers'. The person who worked with us would bring a new activity each visit and they also had some group events at their center for all of the families were involved in their program. It was excellent. I was so sad when they lost their funding a year or so after my son aged out of the program.

      Border Terrier lover

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    4. Then this has become a wasteful endeavour on what has already been well researched— if this is about “good patenting”. Remember if all this starts in the “home”, there has to be a “home” to shelter in. Unlike prince and princesses, most of us aren’t provided manor houses and palaces to be housed. We work to pay for the ceiling over our head.

      It’s escapism to deny the real world in which the majority of families live in. The rarified privilege world from which Kate is to mentor us from is unworkable. That’s not a criticism of Kate. This is a criticism of the inequality of the present class structure and the way the monarchy works within our society. The monarchy benefits by the work of the people and the country’s resources. Its wealth and privileges place the monarchy in a singular, inimitable position from the rest of the populace.

      Working families, including middle class ones, need assistance in finding quality childcare and early childhood education. It might not be a hardship if you have money and/or if you have a nanny or a grandparent or have a stay at home parent. The fact is many families are headed by single parent or if two, both must work. This isn’t about parents who don’t know the importance of reading to their children early, providing developmental appropriate activities or stimulation. They know and want and do these things for their children. They also need help.

      The modeling should be about adults making sure there’s funding so children have equal access to these opportunities. The modeling isn’t some touchy feely talk about do vs say. It’s about making sure there is money for training, money to pay people a living wage who care for our children, money for parents so they can take leave in those early months and the first year without putting them in the poorhouse or losing their jobs. This is no difference than universal education for children. What people take today for granted, the right to a universal education wasn’t so clear cut a little more than a century ago. In 1870, England got universal elementary education. In 1945, universal and FREE secondary education bill was finally passed. To provide for universal education and universal healthcare takes money. The people are living under what austerity and over 10 years of budget cuts have done to the institutions which used to make this county the envy of the world.

      There’s a huge funding gap between transforming wants and words into reality. And as much as the poet waxes and wanes about love, love doesn’t pay the bills.
      - say YES to universal early childhood education and childcare.

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    5. Anon, it seems like you want Kate’s project to fit in with what you think will make a difference and if it doesn’t you deem it a waste of time. But since the Research Centre is only 2 days old, it might be prudent to see which direction it takes before making that call.

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    6. Anon 0223, how can you say this is a wasteful endeavor when it hasn't started beyond announcement and noting the experts who will be involved? Sorry, but I think the Centre should be allowed to get its work started and programs underway before it is consigned to the rubbish as being useless.

      Border Terrier lover

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    7. Of course, inequality and poverty are huge challenges. And parents who struggle to meet the basics needs of their children like food and shelter should absolutely get help. But I think this is a different problem, that should be tackled globally not only in the early years. And the early years program covers more than poverty. It is a pool of experts, a scientific resource that can be used by the government, no matter it's politics. From what you say, it seems that the UK liberal economy has huge social drawbacks, well if there is a center that highlights the cost of neglecting the early years, perhaps it will change politics.
      People will be informed, be it parents, carers or politicians. They will take informed decisions and act accordingly.
      I for one am amazed by how many tiny children spend hours on a screen while the parents are looking at their phone. You see that everywhere, in waiting rooms, parks, public transports. It is frightening. I hope people will realize what it does to a brain in formation.

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  20. If anything, she looks even prettier in this classic style than she did years ago. How on earth does she do that?

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  21. Does anyone recognise the water bottle?

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  22. There are of course some wonderful schools and child cares in the US. But consider that in my town in Texas, child cares are recruiting "teachers" and the only qualification is being at least 18 years old. For babies, too, a few months old. I can't imagine the impersonal care that children receive for 6 years.

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  23. Anon 13:28 Agree.
    Please Charlotte can you shut this stuff down.

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  24. Only reading the comments now. I'm not sure if Kate broke or bent the rules by going to that vigil. I do remember that the police asked people to stay away. Well I say good for her for going. I'm not a mother and I don't have a daughter but she earned a lot of respect by that gesture. The Duchess doesn't have a agenda and she's certainly not looking for fame. The work this foundation does will only be for better lives for the future generations of children. As for bringing her uncle through marriage in to her hard work, this is not the place for that. Absolutely nothing to do with her foundation or years of hard work. Charlotte made it very clear recently. This is not a blog for hate, negative or digs at extended family members. Hold still and now a foundation for the benefit of children, need I say more. S. ☺.

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  25. Caroline in Montana21 June 2021 at 16:08

    I think this is great! sounds simple to say and it should be obvious, but it all does start when we were young and for all kids the kids everyday. but then there is always a teacher or other parent or mean kids. I hope this to a long lasting game changer as Kate has always been playing the long game.

    As for her dress, i love the color and i love the length. I even kinda missed the brown socks:) (Shout out to Ivy Lin!) I am not sure about the bodice part, seems like two weird breaks and almost bra like at the top? I might like better with out it. Love the necklace and the umbrella.

    Love the great work she continues, she really is the definition of grace and class.
    Thanks Charlotte!!

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  26. What makes me sad is advocating to get better funded universal early childhood care and education is perceived as being against Kate’s endeavour. Funding is vital to research and program implementation. The two go hand in hand which is why Kate’s transformative initiative has my support. To get the best researched practices to the children, there has to be a bridge and building bridges cost money.

    Smilarily, developing and getting covid vaccines into the arm of people takes money. Lots of it. Caring for sick people is expensive. Keeping people healthy is expensive. It’s why our beloved Capt. Tom Moore raised £23m for the NHS and was knighted by the Queen. Many of us cheered and donated. We did the same with Marcus Rashford. The fact that private citizens must do this illustrates serious institutional failure.

    It may be because my work is on the implementation end of things and I see how programs in my area are being shut down, pared down to the point where personnel and services are overstretched and under resourced which then affect quality and outcomes negatively. It has demoralized staff and the people we serve. We’ve lost experienced staff over the years to other countries because of pay and working conditions.

    I am passionate because I see Kate’s effort as a way to help right this ship. This past year has been very tough for many and while there have been improvements, we still have a flourishing pandemic and a tough economy. Childcare providers are going under because the government payment program is low and providers can’t find staff for such low wages. This in turn affects how working parents can return to work. Getting businesses up and open again affects how quickly can the economy rebound. Everything is interrelated.

    I take this bit of Kate news as good news and I’ll continue to push for funding and better implementation of resources. The thing is, unlike Capt Tom Moore or Marcus Rashford or millions of nameless people, the royals have real institutional agency with big, publicly funded budget and staff.

    - say YES to universal early childhood education and childcare






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  27. Theresa - Austin, TX21 June 2021 at 20:11

    Hi Charlotte....I have a question unrelated to this particular post. I was wondering if your blog The Royal Digest is still active. It's one that I check every day, but have not seen any posts since the one you did announcing Prince Philip's death back in April.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Theresa,

      Firstly thank you so much for your interest. As the site was inactive for some time, there's a great deal of work ongoing to bring it up to speed. I'm hoping it will be fully functioning by the end of the month.

      Delete

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