Kate Middleton is continuing her mission to prioritize early childhood development not just within families, but also businesses and the financial community at large.

The Princess of Wales held the first meeting of her new Business Taskforce for Early Childhood on Tuesday morning at NatWest bank’s London headquarters, inviting some of Britain’s biggest business and financial leaders to pitch them on the next stage of her initiative. This latest development comes after the launch of her Shaping Us campaign in January, the goal of which is to take all of the scientific and academic endeavors in this field and turn them into “strategically important” ones. The royal told those gathered that she hopes this Business Taskforce will be essential in helping her change the way society views and prioritizes young children and their environments.

In a speech delivered during the meeting, Kate explained that her mission “is about looking at childhood holistically. Looking upstream in a preventative manner to promote healthy life outcomes for us all. From Pregnancy to age five, our brains develop at an amazing rate, faster than any other age. During this time, we lay the foundations and building blocks for life. It is when we learn to understand ourselves, understand others and learn about the world in which we live.” She added that those experiences, “lay the scaffolding for our abilities and capabilities as we grow…This time really is a golden opportunity to transform our future life outcomes.”

She continued, “This however is not just about supporting children in the earliest years of their lives. It is also about building healthy communities in which they can grow. Because the healthy development of our children relies on healthy adults. So this is why we all have a part to play. And that is why I’m standing here in front of you, to ask you, some of Britain’s most influential business leaders, for your support in helping create the societal change that is needed.” The royal noted that she hopes the business world will realize the importance of the role they play in all of this, the same way they have “embraced the net zero target to protect our environmental ecosystems…Building healthy environments both in and out of the workplace is fundamental.”

Kate explained, “I believe therefore that we need two things to really transform society for generations to come. The first is to prioritize creating working environments that provide the support and training your workforce needs to cultivate and maintain its own social and emotional wellbeing…The second is a more concentrated effort in supporting the social and emotional development of our youngest children. Because as with most human development, the key time to build these social and emotional skills in the first place is in the first five years.” She concluded, “I truly believe that by investing in early childhood, with a specific focus on social and emotional development, businesses in turn will see in the future…better communication, better working relationships, improved resilience, employees finding better work–life balance, less stress, more patience and understanding and increased job satisfaction. Not only that, but the societal impact we could have, if we work together on this, could transform lives for generations to come. As the saying goes, it really does take a village.”

Amanda Berry, the chief executive of the Royal Foundation of the Prince and Princess of Wales, said in a statement regarding the task force meeting, “We all have a role to play in building a supportive and nurturing world around children and those who care for them, and it is fantastic to see business leaders placing the subject of early childhood at the heart of their organizations. Businesses play a key role within society and with their huge reach to their employees, consumer and the wider community, their involvement can have a transformative impact on the health and happiness of generations to come.”

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