Catherine’s taskforce shows UK could generate £45 billion by supporting early years

While still not back to work the Princess has been kept updated on the report

The Taskforce for Early Childhood, set up by The Princess of Wales in 2023, has issued a report setting out how businesses should prioritise early childhood and the steps of action that can be taken, as well as the benefits to the economy if these are achieved.

Since its inception, Taskforce members including Aviva, The Co-operative Group, Deloitte, Iceland Foods, The LEGO Group, NatWest Group and Unilever UK, have worked to identify the scale of the opportunity and the role that business can play.

Duchess Kate said early years intervention was the ‘social equivalent of climate change’ (@KensingtonRoyal)

The report detailed how investing in early childhood could generate at least £45.5 billion in value added for the national economy each year. This includes:

– £12.2 billion from equipping people with improved social and emotional skills in early childhood;
– £16.1 billion from reducing the need to spend public funds on remedial steps for adverse childhood experiences;
– £17.2 billion from supporting parents and caregivers of under-fives who work.

The report also identified five key areas where businesses no matter their size can help to make the greatest impact for children under five, the adults around them, the economy and as well as the wider society:

– Building a culture that prioritises early childhood within businesses, local communities, and wider society.
– Helping families facing the greatest challenges access the basic support and essentials they need.
– Offering parents and carers greater support, resources, choice, and flexibility with their work.
– Prioritising and nurturing social and emotional skills in young children and the adults in their lives.
– Supporting initiatives which increase access to quality, affordable and reliable early childhood education and care.

The Princess of Wales has supported children’s hospices since entering the Royal Family. (Kensington Palace)

Despite not undertaking royal duties whilst undergoing treatment for cancer, The Princess of Wales has been briefed on the work.

A spokesman for Catherine said: ‘The work of The Prince and Princess’ projects is “always on”… early childhood is a huge priority for the Princess and so she has been kept fully updated throughout the development of the Taskforce’s work and she has seen the report. ‘

Speaking to the Daily Mail, a senior royal aide added: ‘The Princess of Wales was the driving force behind the business task force. She has been kept up to date since the inception of the task force and she has read the report and been briefed on it.

‘This is a clear commitment she has made that throughout her life of public service that this will be focus. That will continue when she returns to work. But we have been really clear that she needs the space and the privacy to recover right now. She will return to work when she has had the green light from doctors.’

The roundtable event was carried out to discuss the public’s perceptions on the early years. (Kensington Royal)

Christian Guy, Executive Director of the Early Childhood Centre, said that this research was ‘another crucial moment’ for HRH’s work in the early childhood sphere. He added how he had briefed The Princess of Wales on the findings and that ‘she is enormously grateful to the members of the Taskforce who have made such fantastic progress on this work over the past year’.

According to Guy, Catherine feels ‘passionately about the transformational impact of getting this right together, both for the current generation and for many more to come’ and is ‘keen to encourage all businesses, no matter what their size or purpose, to join us on this journey and is looking forward to seeing momentum grow in the coming months’.

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