The Princess of Wales has hosted a major conference on the importance of early years.
The Shaping Us National Symposium brought together leaders and experts from a wide range of fields to discuss how nurturing children can help build better lives for everyone.
The Princess took part in discussions with a diverse group of people to hear about the impact that early years has throughout life.
The event was organised by the Royal Foundation for Early Childhood. It brought together cross-disciplinary leaders as well as child and adult specialists and political and social leaders.
Among those participating were former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and former leader of the Conservative Party, William Hague.
The Princess of Wales gave a keynote speech in which she shared he motivations for focusing on early years, saying ‘’ if we can create a society which sees the child within every adult – and the adult within every child – we will finally start to change it for the better.”
Her Royal Highness also said ‘’ We want to make the link between the skills we develop in early childhood and the core foundations that set us up for life and help us to thrive as adults.’’
And she spoke of ongoing work by the Foundation which has identified core areas of ‘’ knowing ourselves, managing our emotions, focusing our thoughts, communicating with others, nurturing our relationships, and exploring the world. These are the skills that lay the foundations for our positive future mental health and resilience throughout our lives.’’
The Princess of Wales continued ‘’ Healthy development of these core skills is not inevitable – they must be nurtured from our earliest moments of life. The foundations for these skills are laid in early childhood, between pregnancy and the age of five, which is why those earliest years represent such a golden opportunity to make a difference right from the start.’’
The symposium, held in London on November 15th 2023, focused on working on foundations that support children as well as adults.