Earlier this year, the Duchess of Cambridge opened up about her experiences of motherhood on a podcast as she discussed her research into early childhood development. And now, Kate has shared that there is information she wishes she had known as a first-time mum as she backs the launch of a BBC initiative to assist parents and carers at the start of a child’s life.
The Duchess is supporting Tiny Happy People, which provides free online tools to aid the development of language and communication skills in kids under the age of five. She has been working on the project for several months and recently met with three families and chatted with BBC Breakfast about the tools in an interview which will air tomorrow morning in the UK. (A short preview clip can be seen above.)
“In the first few months there’s a huge amount of support from midwives and health visitors and things. But from then onwards there’s a massive gap before they then start school,” the Duchess said. Recalling that one of the parents, Ryan, identified that his eight-month-old daughter Mia has five different cries, Kate said “he’s learned a huge amount from Tiny Happy People.”
She continued: “And it’s information like that I wish I had had as a first-time mum.” She described it as “gold dust really, for families to be given those tips and tools to use in the first five years.”
The BBC shared that Kate “visited the Tiny Happy People team last November to take part in development sessions and to learn more about the production process,” and that she “helped in the character and background development for two animations on parenting” about making eye contact with and singing to babies.
The Royal Foundation will continue to collaborate with the BBC on Tiny Happy People, which is a five year initiative featuring short films, articles, and quizzes explaining the science behind how a baby’s brain develops.
James Purnell, BBC Director, Radio & Education, described it as “a major, long term education commitment from the BBC to help close the under-fives language and communication gap and help give kids the best chance in life.”
Kensington Palace said that last week the Duchess met three families who have been involved in the creation and piloting of Tiny Happy People. In addition to Ryan and Mia, she spoke with Henrietta, Abu, and their 11-month-old daughter Amirah, and Kerry, Darren, and their two-year-old son Dexter.
In a statement accompanying the launch Kate said:
“Families and carers are at the heart of nurturing the next generation of happy, healthy adults, but sometimes it can be hard to know where to turn to for advice. Tiny Happy People is an invaluable resource which provides parents and carers with support and tips, as well as simple activities to ensure children develop the language skills they need to have the best possible start in life. I am delighted to have been part of its journey and hope families across the UK will enjoy exploring the resources.”
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