“People overwhelmingly believe that a child’s future is not pre-determined at birth. However, most people don’t understand the specific importance of the early years.”
This report from the Royal Foundation begins:
“The Duchess of Cambridge has unveiled the findings of the biggest ever UK study on the early years, in a milestone moment for her work on the importance of early childhood in shaping the rest of our lives and broader societal outcomes.
The Royal Foundation commissioned Ipsos MORI to conduct this landmark research, revealing what the UK thinks about the early years. It also explores how COVID-19 has impacted the perceptions and experiences of parents and carers of the under-fives.
The publication of this research follows nine years of work by The Duchess of Cambridge in which she has looked at how difficult experiences in early childhood are often the root cause of key social challenges such as poor mental health, family breakdown, addiction and homelessness – with the cost of late intervention estimated to be around £17 billion per year in England and Wales.
Throughout this time, The Duchess has listened extensively to the early years sector, convening a steering group of experts in 2018 to look at how collaborative work could bring about positive change. In January, Her Royal Highness asked the general public for their views – sparking a national conversation on the early years through the ‘5 Big Questions on the Under Fives’ survey, which attracted over half a million responses, making it the biggest ever survey of its kind.
The research published today includes the findings of the 5 Big Questions as well as further qualitative and ethnographic research, a nationally representative survey conducted before the pandemic, and a survey on the impact of COVID-19 on families. Taken together, these studies have generated #5BigInsights …”
You can see a summary of these five insights – and read the full report – from here.