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 research has generated 5 Big Insights:
1.. 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.
2. The reality of life makes it hard for parents to prioritise their wellbeing.
3Feeling judged by the others can make a bad situation worse.
4. . People have been separated from family and friends during the pandemic and at the same time parental loneliness has dramatically increased. Disturbingly, people are also less willing to seek help for how they are feeling.
5.During the COVID-19 pandemic, support form the local communities has increased substantially for many-but not for all.
The study concludes that three main themes have emerged.
1)The importance of promoting education and dissemination of evidence on the primacy of the
early years to the whole of society.
2) The need to cultivate and sustain more support networks for parents to enhance their mental health and wellbeing.
3) Encouraging society as a whole be more supportive of parents, carers and families in the early years.
Read the press release and access the full report here.