18th June 2021
The Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) warmly welcomes today’s launch of the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood by The Duchess of Cambridge. This new Centre will drive awareness of and action on the extraordinary impact of the early years, in order to transform society for generations to come.
Attending the Centre launch, Alison Morton, Executive Director iHV, said:
“Today’s announcement is good news for the whole of society, there is no doubt that this will change children’s lives. Through spearheading this vision, and the urgency of the message to start now, The Duchess of Cambridge has the power to bring together the evidence, the experts and the energy needed to drive real change. I look forward to working very closely with the new Centre for Early Childhood on next steps.”
The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood will focus on three key areas of activity in the years to come:
- 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.
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. The Duchess 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 (read our news story on this).
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.
Big Change Starts Small Report
To coincide with the launch, the Centre has published its inaugural report, Big Change Starts Small, which brings together leading sector research in one place and underlines the critical lifelong impact of the early years on individuals, our economy and society at large. It also sets out recommendations on how all aspects of society can contribute positively and make a difference on this important issue.
The report, written in collaboration with The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University and the London School of Economics, reveals that the cost of lost opportunity is £16.13 billion per year in England alone. This is the cost to society of the remedial steps that we take to address issues (from children in care to short- and long-term mental and physical health issue) that might have been avoided through action in early childhood.
New website – Centre for Early Childhood
Alongside the launch of the Centre and the publication of the report, The Duchess of Cambridge has launched a new website which will help to raise awareness of the importance of early childhood, laying out the scientific, economic and social opportunity for change. It will also act as the home for the Centre’s latest research, a showcase for its major initiatives and a platform for those who want to delve deeper into early childhood, whether they’re coming to this area for the first time or simply looking to further their understanding.