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Duchess of Cambridge learns about UCL childhood research

By Rachel LawlerDuchess of Cambridge UCL

The Duchess of Cambridge has visited UCL’s Centre for Longitudinal Studies to learn about the organisation’s ‘Children of the 2020s Study’.

The research project will follow more than 8,000 children born in April, May and June 2021, looking at their early development, health, home learning and early education. It will also use data from the Teacher Tapp app to assess the impact of early education and care.

Early childhood
Speaking ahead of her visit, the Duchess said: “Our early childhoods shape our adult lives and knowing more about what impacts this critical time is fundamental to understanding what we as a society can do to improve our future health and happiness.

“The landmark ‘Children of the 2020s’ study will illustrate the importance of the first five years and provide insights into the most critical aspects of early childhood, as well as the factors which support or hinder positive lifelong outcomes.

“I am committed to supporting greater in-depth research in this vital area and I’m delighted to be meeting all those behind the study at this early stage.”

Archived research
During her visit, the Duchess viewed archive materials from historic research on the early years, including a ‘birth questionnaire’ of new mothers in 1958, which tracked pregnant women’s smoking habits and allowed them to track its impact on baby birth weight and later negative consequences.

Commitment to children's development
Professor Pasco Fearon said: “We share with Her Royal Highness a commitment to improving children’s development and life chances through high quality research and good early years policy and we believe the Children of the 2020s Study will play a really important part of that for this next generation of children.”

Earlier this year, the Duchess launched the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, aiming to raise awareness of the importance of the early years. She also spoke with Dr Jill Biden, first lady of the United States, about early education at a roundtable event during the G7 summit in Cornwall.

Image credit, UCL 

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Duchess of Cambridge launches Centre for Early Childhood