How long have we been talking about this Early Years initiative? The discussion began in earnest in autumn 2018, because that’s when Camp Cambridge claimed that the Duchess of Sussex was hijacking all of the attention away from what would have been THE moment for Kate to “launch” her big, epic project. The launch never came. There was a lot of keenness and a lot of hype for the eventual launch. Kate even threw a fancy big-girl party at Buckingham Palace for the mysterious initiative back in February 2019. When the Cambridges and Sussexes separated their offices & charities last year, the newly-revamped Royal Foundation website even said that Kate would launch Early Years by the end of 2019. It didn’t happen, nor did they really describe what was actually being “launched.” But it’s happening now, against all odds. So what is being launched and how does it involve trousers & pussybows? From the KensingtonRoyal IG:
Today The Duchess of Cambridge launches #5BigQuestions 📋 on the Under 5s, a landmark survey which gives people across the UK an opportunity to provide their view on raising the next generation. The survey is designed to bring together the thoughts of as many people across the UK as possible – recognising that everyone has a role in ensuring strong, healthy foundations for the youngest in our society that will positively affect their lifelong outcomes.
5 Big Questions on the Under 5s aims to spark the biggest ever conversation on early childhood that will ultimately help bring about positive, lasting change for generations to come.
Earlier today The Duchess kickstarted the launch of the survey during a visit to MiniBrum at @thinktankmuseum, where she was shown around the interactive, child-sized mini-city by children who helped design the space and spoke to parents and carers about the survey.
On the 5 Big Questions on the Under 5s Survey, The Duchess said: “Parents, carers and families are at the heart of caring for children in the formative years, so that is why I want to listen to them. As a parent I know how much we cherish the future health and happiness of our children. I want to hear the key issues affecting our families and communities so I can focus my work on where it is needed most. My ambition is to provide a lasting change for generations to come.”
From what I understand, the 5 Big Questions is just the first phase of Early Years, and the results “will be revealed in March and will determine the Duchess’s next steps,” according to the Daily Mirror. The Mirror also emphasized that THIS is what she’s been doing for “eight years,” which… she spent eight years coming up with a five-question quiz, and when she sees the results, only then will she know how to proceed? As for the questionnaire, it’s very… uh, simple. From the BBC:
1. What do you believe is most important for children growing up in the UK today to live a happy adult life? Rank from most important to least important:
Good physical and mental health
Good friendships and relationships
Access to opportunities
Access to a good education
2. Which of these statements is closest to your opinion?
It is primarily the responsibility of parents to give children aged 0-5 the best chance of health and happiness
It is primarily the responsibility of others in society to give children aged 0-5 the best chance of health and happiness
It is the shared responsibility of parents and others in society to give children aged 0-5 the best chance of health and happiness
3. How much do you agree or disagree with this statement? The mental health and wellbeing of parents and carers has a great impact on the development of their child(ren)
Tend to agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Tend to disagree
4. Which of the following is closest to your opinion of what influences how children develop from the start of pregnancy to age five?
Mostly the traits a child is born with (i.e. nature)
Mostly the experiences of a child in the early years (i.e. nurture)
Both nature and nurture equally
5. Which period of a child and young person’s life do you think is the most important for health and happiness in adulthood?
Start of pregnancy to five years
5-11 years (primary school)
11-16 years (secondary school)
16-18 years (further education)
18-24 years (young adulthood)
All equally important
I… don’t understand why Kate is crowdsourcing this information and will only know how to proceed once the results are in? I mean, she’s supposedly been meeting with child-development experts for the better part of two years. And this is what they came up with? I have a questionnaire of my own for Kate.
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🗣️ We want you to have your say in the biggest ever conversation on early childhood and help bring about positive, lasting change for generations to come. It take just 5 minutes ⏱️ to answer #5BigQuestions on the Under 5s — click the link in our bio and join others across the UK in letting us know your thoughts on raising the next generation. We recognise that everyone has a role in ensuring strong, healthy foundations for the youngest in our society that will positively affect their lifelong outcomes, so let us know what you think!
Photos courtesy of Backgrid/Kensington Palace.