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NEWS: Royal Foundation Centre For Early Childhood unveils new research on early years perceptions

Today (16 June), one year on from the launch of The Royal Foundation Centre For Early Childhood, it has unveiled its latest research looking into early childhood in England. This builds upon the work of HRH Duchess of Cambridge in 2020 when she launched her landmark survey asking Five Big Questions.  

This new research carried out by the Centre and Ipsos UK looks closer into public perceptions of early childhood: the prioritisation of the early years; the link between the first five years of life and lifelong outcomes for mental health and wellbeing; and the support parents seek when raising young children. 

Key findings, which were discussed in a roundtable event this afternoon:  

  • Nine in ten recognise the importance of early childhood in shaping later life, but relative to other age brackets, only a fifth recognise the unique importance of age 0-5.  
  • 70% agree that early childhood should be a greater priority for society 
  • 65% of parents of children aged 0-5 agree there’s not enough support for parents to help children develop in early childhood 
  • Over half (55%) of the public recognise a person’s future mental health and wellbeing is the most likely part of adult life to be affected by their development in the early years 
  • Over a third (33%) parents sought help on social and emotional development from nursery or childcare practitioners 

PACEY has been a long-standing supporter of the Royal Foundation’s work on early years, supporting the development of its initial strategy and now its on-going work. 

Read the report in full 

Liz Bayram, Chief Executive at PACEY comments:  

“HRH the Duchess of Cambridge's long-standing commitment to shine a light on the importance of early childhood is invaluable. We welcome the Centre’s latest research findings, in particular the often-unrecognised role that childminders, nurseries and pre-schools play in providing advice and support to parents who children use their services. 

“This latest study shows that wider society understand the importance of a child’s early years and want it to be a greater priority. We still have a lot to do before we can achieve that ambition. PACEY hopes that this research and the wider work of the Centre will, among other things, ensure governments develop long term policies and strategies that support childminders, nurseries and pre-schools to give the children they care for a bright start and provide parents with the support and advice this research shows they clearly need. 

"PACEY looks forward to continuing to work with HRH and the Centre, sharing experiences and insight from our thousands of PACEY members to input into its vital work.”