Kate Middleton
UXBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 09: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Catherine, Princess of Wales (Patron of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance) visits Colham Manor Children's Centre with the Maternal Mental Health Alliance on November 9, 2022 in Uxbridge, England. The Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) is a charity and network of 120 organisations dedicated to ensuring all women, babies and families in the UK affected by perinatal mental health problems have access to high-quality support and compassionate care. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images/IBTimes No Google News


  • Kate Middleton highlighted the need to provide support to parents and create a healthy environment for kids to grow
  • Middleton said most working parents face challenges "in balancing a successful working life with a nurturing home life"
  • She launched the Business Taskforce for Early Childhood

Kate Middleton has urged employers to provide support to parents and caregivers in the workforce who are raising young children.

As she expanded her early years initiative to include business leaders and commerce, the Princess of Wales penned a new op-ed published in the Financial Times in which she detailed the importance of development in the first five years of children's lives and why both parents and children should be given support to help foster a healthy environment for kids to grow.

"The science shows that from pregnancy to age five, our brains develop faster than at any other age. The way we develop, through our experiences, relationships and surroundings at that very young age, lays the scaffolding as we grow into adulthood. And it is specifically our social and emotional development during that time — learning how we express and manage our emotions and respond to the needs of others — that underpins the attributes which are key to success in the workplace. Our resilience, flexibility, ability to manage stress and remain motivated when facing challenges, are all shaped by the foundations we build in early childhood," Middleton wrote.

But the future queen noted that there's not enough emphasis placed on social and emotional development or on creating environments that nurture these skills during childhood and beyond.

Middleton said she launched her new Business Taskforce for Early Childhood earlier this month after finding that the well-being of parents is the "biggest single factor" in determining a child's well-being.

She stated that parents make up a significant part of the United Kingdom's workforce, with 76% of mothers and 92% of fathers with children employed. She noted that 75% of parents reportedly find parenting kids younger than 5 years old "stressful."

"We must recognize the challenge for many of these parents, and other caregivers, in balancing a successful working life with a nurturing home life during their children's formative years. Employers have an important role in making that possible," Middleton explained. "Of course, there are many others within the workforce who play an important role in the lives of children — grandparents, friends, community volunteers. As the saying goes, 'it takes a village.'"

The Princess of Wales revealed two ways for business leaders to support parents and kids.

"The first is to prioritize creating working environments that provide the support people need to cultivate and maintain their own social and emotional well-being. The second is a more concentrated focus on the social and emotional development of our youngest children," she wrote.

Prince William's wife's new task force will look at opportunities to put early years at the heart of delivering the "social" element. She said that by being more coordinated across business and commerce, the task force will have more impact.

"As the world becomes ever more complex, we have to invest in early childhood now, as a down payment for our collective future. If business and commerce embrace this significant issue — including how better early childhoods will affect their own organizations both now and in the long term — we can and will transform lives for generations to come," she concluded.

Middleton's new task force is part of her Shaping Us campaign, which she launched with The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood in January. According to its website, the long-term campaign aims to "increase public understanding of the crucial importance of the first five years of a child's life" and "transform the issue from one of scientific interest to one of the most strategically important topics of our time."

Middleton announced the initiative during a speech at a reception in London.

"The campaign is fundamentally about shining a spotlight on the critical importance of early childhood and how it shapes the adults we become," she said in January, according to People. "This is why it is essential, to not only understand the unique importance of our earliest years, but to know what we can all do to help raise future generations of happy, healthy adults. Those involved in raising children today need the very best information and support in helping to achieve this mission – and this campaign aims to help do that too."

Kate Middleton
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - OCTOBER 06: Catherine, Princess of Wales smiles and shakes hands with well-wishers after her visit to the PIPS (Public Initiative for Prevention of Suicide and Self Harm) charity with Prince William, Prince of Wales on October 06, 2022 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Images/IBTimes