Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is launching a new foundation to help kids and their parents.
The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood will help “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".
Its first project will be the Big Change Starts Small report, which combines research into the early years of children and was produced in collaboration with officials at The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University and the London School of Economics.
The report reveals the $23 billion (£16.5 billion) cost to society of the steps needed to address issues, including children in care and short- and long-term mental and physical health issues. It suggests some of this might have been avoided through action in early childhood.
“Our first five years lay important foundations for our future selves. This period is when we first learn to manage our emotions and impulses, to care and to empathise, and thus ultimately to establish healthy relationships with ourselves and others,” wrote the Duchess, who is married to Britain's Prince William, in the foreword to the report.
“It is a time when our experience of the world around us, and the way that moulds our development, can have a lifelong impact on our future mental and physical wellbeing,” she continued. “Indeed, what shapes our childhood shapes the adults and the parents we become.”