The Princess of Wales launches “Shaping Us” campaign to raise awareness of the unique importance of early childhood

Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales has launched a major new awareness raising campaign to increase public understanding of the crucial importance of the first five years of a child’s life.

“Shaping Us” is a new long-term campaign from The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood which aims to transform the issue from one of scientific interest to one of the most strategically important topics of our time.

Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales said:

“The way we develop, through our experiences, relationships, and surroundings during our early childhood, fundamentally shapes our whole lives. It affects everything from our ability to form relationships and thrive at work, to our mental and physical well-being as adults and the way we parent our own children.

“These are the most preventative years. By focusing our collective time, energy, and resources to build a supportive, nurturing world around the youngest members of our society and those caring for them, we can make a huge difference to the health and happiness of generations to come.

“All of society has a role to play in this, even if you are not directly involved in a child’s life, because we are all responsible for building a more compassionate world in which our children can grow, learn and live.

“In these difficult times, it is more important than ever to help support parents and caregivers provide loving, safe and secure homes for their babies and young children to thrive.”

The ‘Shaping Us’ campaign launched as the Centre for Early Childhood released new data on public understanding of child development which shows around one in three (36%) adults report knowing just a little or nothing about how children develop in their early childhood. This follows on from research conducted last year highlighting that very few people recognise the unique importance of the 0 -5 period compared to other stages of life.

View the first report in the 2023 series