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Kate Middleton Announces the Exciting Next Chapter in Her Royal Work for Young Children

People 1/28/2023 Stephanie Petit

Kensington Palace Kate Middleton © Provided by People Kensington Palace Kate Middleton

Kate Middleton is heading an exciting new campaign to highlight the importance of the early years of a child's life.

The Princess of Wales, 41, released a letter on Saturday announcing the new campaign for her Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood.

"This week, I am delighted to reveal The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood will launch a major new awareness raising campaign, highlighting the critical importance the first five years of our lives have on shaping the adults we become," the mother of three wrote. "During our very early childhood, our brains develop at an amazing rate – faster than any other time of our lives. Our experiences, relationships, and surroundings at that young age, shape the rest of our lives. It is a time where we lay the foundations and building blocks for life. It is when we learn to understand ourselves, understand others and understand the world in which we live."

"But as a society, we currently spend much more of our time and energy on later life," she continued. "I am absolutely determined that this long-term campaign is going to change that. It will start by highlighting how we develop during early childhood and why these years matter so much in terms of shaping who we become. I will be joined by a remarkable group of experts spanning science, research, policymaking and front-line practice as well as an exciting group of well-known faces from music, sport and television to show all of us why it is in all of our interests to care about this."

"We all need to know the critical importance of our early childhood," Kate said. "They really are years like no other in our lives. I urge everyone reading this to take the opportunity to learn more about this incredible time of life, to think back to your own childhood and how it shaped you, and most importantly, to ask yourselves what you can do to make the world a more supportive and loving place for our children. Because healthy, happy children shape a healthy, happy future."

She signed the letter, "Catherine."

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Kensington Palace Kate Middleton © Provided by People Kensington Palace Kate Middleton

A spokesperson at Kensington Palace says, "The Princess has taken an active role in every stage of this campaign." 

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. This is very much the start. And I think this is very much going to be a key focus of her work way beyond next week. And I'm sure it will be a golden thread throughout her working life."

Princess Kate, 41, launched the Centre for Early Childhood in June 2021 to "raise awareness of why the first five years of life are just so important for our future life outcomes, and what we can do as a society to embrace this golden opportunity to create a happier, more mentally healthy, more nurturing society."

The Center came from a decade of Kate's work in public life, during which she saw that so many of life's challenges — from mental health to addiction — can be rooted in difficulties faced by children and their families early in life.

Justin Tallis - WPA Pool/Getty Images Kate Middleton © Provided by People Justin Tallis - WPA Pool/Getty Images Kate Middleton

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Last week, Kate met a group of eight professionals from academia, science and the early years sector who she has chosen to add their voices to her work surrounding children's early years. Princess Kate met them in their role as her Advisory Group for the first time at Windsor Castle.

Palace officials explain that the group — who have expertise in areas across neuroscience, psychology, perinatal psychiatry and policy development — will support Princess Kate and the Centre "as work is accelerated to promote the fundamental importance of the first five years of a child's life."

The palace also announced that Christian Guy has been appointed as the Centre Director.

DANIEL LEAL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images Kate Middleton © Provided by People DANIEL LEAL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images Kate Middleton

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Kate, a mother of three, went on a fact-finding trip to a nursery earlier this month to highlight the work done there. She spoke with early childhood educators about the formative nature of the early years and heard from parents about how the nursery makes a difference in their children's lives.

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