The Duchess of Cambridge has launched a new Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood to recognise the powerful impact that a child’s early years has on their whole-life chances.
The Centre will focus on three key areas of activity:
The launch of The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood is a culmination of ten years’ work by the Duchess to highlight the importance of early childhood.
The Centre has published a report to coincide with the launch. Big Change Starts Small brings together key research to emphasise the critical lifelong impact of the early years on individuals, the economy and wider society. It includes recommendations on how all aspects of society can contribute positively and make a difference on this important issue.
As part of the launch, The Duchess invited Jumaima, a 23-year old Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) graduate, to Kensington Palace to discuss early childhood development. The Duchess first met Jumaima during a visit to FNP in Southwark in 2019.
FNP graduate Jumaima says of her time on the FNP programme: “I think the home visits definitely made a difference to how I am a mum, and also keeping that same family nurse was a great help because it helps with stability. It made me more comfortable to share and be more open, and you know you can work through questions with them.”
On her meeting with The Duchess of Cambridge, Jumaima said:
“We spoke about how much parents need help as well as kids, because you can only be a good parent if you're working on yourself. We talked about counselling for parents and the tools that can be implemented into the system for parents.”
Professor Viv Bennett CBE, Chief Nurse at Public Health England (PHE) said:
“Supporting families through pregnancy and the early days with their baby is vital to giving every child the best start in life. It’s fantastic to see The Duchess of Cambridge’s commitment to this by opening her new Centre for Early Childhood. Jumaima’s story is an excellent example of how programmes like the Family Nurse Partnership can support our young parents to help bond well with their babies and allow them to thrive and develop.”
Lynne Reed, National Lead for Family Nurse Partnership and Parenting Programmes at PHE said:
“The focus of the new Centre on high quality research, cross sector collaboration, and active campaigning to underscore the importance of the early years of a child’s life is to be welcomed. These aims support and reflect the essential work that FNP teams do every day with young parents like Jumaima in local systems across England. Family nurses deliver FNP as a data informed programme, one that brings lasting change for vulnerable young families, as the recent Building Blocks 2-6 study findings show.
"We are passionate about working alongside all the many colleagues working in this space, including the Royal Foundation’s Centre for Early Childhood, to ensure children’s lifetime potential begins with the best possible start in life.”
Read some blogs by FNP graduates here.