The Duchess of Cambridge said there was “a huge gap” in supporting parents after the first months of a child’s life until they start school.
It was something she also felt as a new mom, the duchess told BBC Breakfast.
Catherine was speaking at the launch of the BBC’s Tiny Happy People initiative for children aged 0-4 years.
It aims to help parents develop their children’s language skills with simple activities, including free online videos and quizzes.
During the interview, the Duchess also spoke of the hardships of life locked out for many, but said that one of the “silver liners” could be that we reassess the importance of our relationships.
“Gold dust for families”
The Duchess has long advocated the importance of improving support for children in early childhood. Earlier this year, she conducted a national survey to “spark a national conversation” and help create change for future generations.
At the heart of the BBC’s five-year Tiny Happy People initiative is a simple message: talk to the kids as soon as possible.
It includes a range of online activities, including parenting tips, movies, articles and quizzes to help parents and caregivers develop the communication skills of their young children from the start of pregnancy.
The program was originally launched in Manchester last October, and Catherine has been involved for several months.
She recently met with families in Sandringham, the Queen’s Estate in Norfolk, to find out how they found the activities. One of the parents she spoke with, Ryan, said they helped her identify that her eight-month-old daughter Mia had five different cries.
“He learned a lot from Tiny Happy People,” said the duchess, speaking to the BBC in Sandringham Park.
“This is information like the one I would have liked to have as a mom for the first time, it is really gold dust so that families receive these tips and tools to use, especially during first five years. ”
She said that parents receive help from midwives and health visitors after the birth of a baby, but there is a gap before they start school.
A National Literacy Trust study shows that once children fall behind, they stay behind, which affects academic performance, job prospects and even life expectancy.
And other research from the Department of Education shows that more than one in four (27%) children in England do not reach the necessary level of literacy development – that is, language, communication and literacy skills – by the time they start elementary school, increasing to more than one in three (42%) in disadvantaged areas.
“So proud of the BBC’s commitment”
The free movies, articles, and quizzes explain the science behind baby’s brain development.
They include fun activities to do with babies and toddlers to support parents’ language development and well-being, as well as tips for new and future parents.
“We couldn’t be more proud of the role we play in this amazing partnership,” said Tony Hall, BBC chief executive.
“Growing up happy and healthy is the greatest gift we can give a child. This campaign embodies our mission to inform, educate and entertain. The BBC has created hundreds of videos and written content that we hope will make a real difference. “
James Purnell, director of BBC Radio and Education, added: “The language of early childhood provides the foundation for all aspects of a child’s life – until adulthood.
“Tiny Happy People is a major, long-term commitment from the BBC in the field of education to help bridge the language and communication gap of the under-five age group and give children the best chance in life. We are all so proud of this and are delighted to see parents and guardians from across the UK using the documents. ”
The Duchess helped develop the character and background for two parenting animations, which are now available on the Tiny Happy People website, on eye contact with babies and singing to babies.
A number of celebrities who use the activities to develop their own infant communication skills also support the initiative, including soap stars Jennie McAlpine and Kieron Richardson, singer and farmer JB Gill, former Love Islanders Jess and Dom Lever, BBC presenter Three Annie Price and Louise Pentland, who was voted Moms’ Favorite Influencer last year in the UK.
Catherine and her husband, the Duke of Cambridge, have three children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
The Royal Foundation website says the Duchess believes that “many of the greatest social and health challenges in society” could be “mitigated or entirely avoided” if young children were given “the right support.”
The interview with the Duchess is broadcast on BBC Breakfast on Tuesday July 14. Visit the Tiny Happy People website here.