The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge recently returned to (socially distanced) public engagements as the U.K. lockdown continues to ease up amid the coronavirus pandemic. Kate Middleton’s latest solo appearance makes perfect sense, as it’s all about early childhood development, which the Duchess has focused on over the past few years.
Duchess Kate has endorsed the launch of Tiny Happy People, a new BBC program that provides resources and support to parents and caregivers for children up to five. The platform helps parents develop children’s language skills, with a variety of free online activities like short films, quizzes and articles.
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One of the main components of Tiny Happy People is simply to begin speaking to children from as early an age as possible.
Kate has been involved with the creation of the platform for quite a while, as per Kensington Palace, she visited the team last November and partook in development sessions and learned more about the production process. Kate has been super hands-on; she took workshops and advised the creators on characters, background and development of two of the animated films now available on the site.
Last week, Duchess Kate met with three families involved in Tiny Happy People, and spoke about her experiences with the new platform. She chatted with the families about how the new resources have helped their own children’s language and communication skills.
Kate spoke to BBC Breakfast about the initiative in a special interview that aired this morning. The Duchess of Cambridge said Tiny Happy People includes information she wished she had “as a first-time mum,” as it’s “gold dust, really, for families to be given these tips and tools,” especially in the first five years of childhood. Kate noted that while there’s support for parents from “midwives and health advisors” in the months right after a child is born, there’s a “massive gap” in the time before they then start school.
“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,” Kate said in a statement. “I am delighted to have been part of its journey and hope families across the UK will enjoy exploring the resources.”
It’s a perfect fit for Kate, as many of her charitable royal initiatives are oriented around families and early childhood development, including her recent landmark national survey project, “5 Big Questions on the Under Fives.”
Kate is planning on staying involved with Tiny Happy People in the future, too, as the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will continue to collaborate with the BBC on the development and performance of the program.