The Duchess of Cambridge held a round-table event on the importance of early childhood development and its links to mental health on with the Health Secretary Sajid Javid, families minister Will Quince, as well as representatives from the early years sector and officials from the Department for Education and the Department of Health and Social Care.

Home-Start welcomed the event, which took place on Thursday 16 June, and the research that was published by The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood to accompany the event, with Home-Start chief executive, Peter Grigg, saying:

"The early years are ​a time of both unique opportunity and vulnerability, during which the foundations for later development are laid. Our experiences in the early years have a huge impact on the rest of our lives. ​

It is welcome that the Duchess of Cambridge is committed to bringing focus to this area. In the past the Duchess has heard first-hand from parents who have been supported by Home-Start about the difference that our bespoke, relational support can make for families, the relationships between babies/children and those who care for them and the positive impact this has on a child’s development.

We hope that discussions like this result in further investment in supporting families with young children and organisations working alongside families because childhood can’t wait."

The discussion on Thursday focussed on new findings by the Centre for Early Childhood which showed that nine in 10 people agree that early years are important in shaping children’s lives. However  less than a fifth understand how important the first five year's of a child's life are to development.

In 2015 The Duchess of Cambridge visited a children's centre run by Home-Start Greenwich, and in 2020 she met with mums supported by Home-Start Wandsworth to hear how Home-Start had supported them during the Covid-19 pandemic.