On Tuesday 21 May, The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood's Business Taskforce published a new report setting out the business case for prioritising early childhood and announced the first steps to be taken. 

Ahead of the publication of the report, Peter Grigg joined Christian Guy, Executive Director of The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood and Sir Ron Kalifa, Chairman of Network International and a Trustee of the The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, at a press conference to mark the launch. 

Working with partners like the Royal Foundation is a key part of Home-Start UK’s strategy to help create compassionate communities of support so that no families feels alone in the vital task of raising children.  

New initiatives announced by business to coincide with the report include funding for early years apprenticeships and leadership programmes, increased support for baby banks and creating welcoming spaces for families with young children.  

Peter is quoted in the report, saying, “The biggest game-changer for me is the role of businesses in strengthening the existing community of support around families both locally and nationally. Focusing on what is already ‘strong’ in communities, rather than just what is ‘wrong’, could make a huge difference and best utilise community assets already present.”   

The Taskforce was established in March 2023 by The Princess of Wales to galvanise business action on early childhood. Since then, Taskforce members Aviva, The Co-operative Group, Deloitte, Iceland Foods, IKEA UK and Ireland, The LEGO Group, NatWest Group and Unilever UK, have worked together to identify the scale of the opportunity and the role that business can play.  

Prioritising early childhood for a happier, healthier society has been produced by Deloitte on behalf of the Taskforce and sets out how a greater focus on early childhood would create a happier and more productive workforce today, and transform the health and wellbeing of the UK economy and society for generations to come.  

Welcoming today’s report and the commitments from the businesses involved, Christian Guy, Executive Director of The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood said:  

“Today marks another milestone moment in our work to make early childhood a priority across society. Some of the most significant businesses in Britain have joined forces to deliver a major rallying call to their fellow business leaders to prioritise young children and those who care for them – for the good of our society and economy.  

The report identifies five areas in which businesses of all sizes can have the opportunity to make the greatest impact for children under five, the adults around them, the economy and wider society:  

  • Building a culture that prioritises early childhood within businesses, local communities, and wider society.  

  • Helping families facing the greatest challenges access the basic support and essentials they need.  

  • Offering parents and carers greater support, resources, choice, and flexibility with their work.  

  • Prioritising and nurturing social and emotional skills in young children and the adults in their lives.  

  • Supporting initiatives which increase access to quality, affordable and reliable early childhood education and care.  

Home-Start UK continues to engage with the Royal Foundation to promote the work of Home-Start and the impact that it is having for families across the country, and its role in improving early years support for children. 

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