Friday June 18, 2021

'Our early childhoods, the time from pregnancy to five, fundamentally shape our whole lives. Through research, campaigns and collaboration we’re working to change the way we think and act on the early years so that together we can build a happier, healthier, more nurturing world.'


These are the opening words on a website recently launched by the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, to announce the creation of the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood.

The Centre's mission is "to drive awareness of, and action on, the extraordinary impact of the early years, changing what we think and do on early childhood, in order to transform society for generations to come."

This initiative follows years of action and campaigning by the Duchess on mental health and early years issues.

WAVE Trust welcomes the creation of this centre and its goals, which largely mirror those of the 70/30 Campaign we oversee whose ambassadors are pushing for early years prevention and trauma-informed practice across the UK and Ireland.

The centre's mission also ties into a Government report recently launched by Dame Andrea Leadsom MP - which WAVE Trust was an adviser to - which also calls for meaningful, transformational change to the support Government provides during this period of life. See here for more information.


Creating change

The Duchess of Cambridge's centre will aim to effect change through the following areas (taken from the website):

  • Research: We believe the case for early childhood starts with science and data. We support, deliver and showcase high-quality research to shape our activity, to increase knowledge and to promote best practice.
  • Collaboration: We believe that tackling the toughest challenges in early childhood and achieving the biggest, long-term impact requires people coming together. We will collaborate with people from across the private, public and voluntary sectors and all walks of life to make positive change.
  • Creating change: We believe that to achieve transformative societal impact we all need to understand why early childhood matters and what we can do to make lasting change. We will raise awareness and inspire action through creative campaigns and activity.


A common cause

We are delighted to see how strongly the centre's calls for action overlap with those we have been championing during our 25-year history. The website lists the following actions for change:

  • Raising awareness of the impact of early childhood (see WAVE's reports on this in 2005, 2013 and 2015)
  • Building a mentally healthier, more nurturing society and creating communities of support (see WAVE's call for Trauma-informed Communities here)
  • Strengthening the early years workforce and putting the data to work for early years (see WAVE's support for early years services here)
  • Supporting long-term, intergenerational change (see the actions we have towards this goal here and our current 70/30 Campaign to take them further here)


We wish the Duchess all the best with this initiative and look forward to seeing the results it generates over the years to come.

Find out more about the Centre for Early Childhood here.


Aidan Phillips is the Trauma-informed Communities Project Manager at WAVE.

Want to ask your MP to support a motion calling for the Government to adopt a comprehensive early years’ strategy to prevent harm to children before it happens? Find out more at the link below:

Click here