Princess Kate's Task Force Recommends UK Businesses to Invest in Early Childhood

By Jose Resurreccion

May 20, 2024 11:03 PM EDT

Princess Kate's Task Force Recommends UK Businesses to Invest in Early Childhood
A photograph taken on March 31, 2024 shows cardboards depicting Britain's Catherine, Princess of Wales (R) and Britain's King Charles III placed in front of Windsor Castle as Britain's royal family prepares to attend the Easter Mattins Service at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.
(Photo : JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

The Royal Foundation Business Taskforce for Early Childhood recently unveiled a report this week urging businesses in the United Kingdom to invest in early childhood programs as it could generate over £45.5 billion ($57.8 billion) for the national economy every year. 

The task force - composed of eight of the most influential businesses in the UK - was created in 2023 by Catherine, Princess of Wales, who was diagnosed with an undisclosed cancer earlier this year. 

Kensington Palace confirmed that the wife of the Prince of Wales was heavily involved in the report but stressed that it was not the signal of her return to public duties and engagements as she was still undergoing "preventive chemotherapy."

A spokesperson for William and Catherine told the BBC that the work of their projects was "always on" and that early childhood "will continue to be central" to the couple's work, specifically for the princess, as she was kept up to speed with the task force's work.

Prince William is the heir to the British throne, currently occupied by his father, King Charles III, who himself recently revealed he has prostate cancer but has since returned to his public duties. William and Catherine are parents to Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, all of whom are currently pre-adolescent. 

George is destined to succeed his father and grandfather as king.

READ NEXT: UK Recovers From Recession With 0.6% GDP Growth

Helping British Businesses Invest in Early Childhood

Some of the task force's members include prominent companies like Deloitte, IKEA, LEGO, and Unilever.

According to its report, proper execution of early childhood investment would significantly boost the British economy.

In particular, the figure provided in the report would include a £12.2-billion ($15.5 billion) investment in improving social and emotional skills in early childhood, a £16.1-billion ($20.5 billion) public fund to assist those facing adverse childhood experiences, and a £17.2-billion ($21.9 billion) grant to support working parents through more affordable childcare.

Investment-wise, The Co-operative Group already committed to raising £5 million ($6.4 million) in the next five years to create over 600 apprenticeships, while the NatWest Group extended its lending target for the child care sector to £100 million ($127.1 million).

The report also emphasized the crucial role of "building a culture" focused on early childhood within businesses, communities, and the wider society in preventing social, health, and mental issues later in life.

The task force's executive director, Christian Guy, said that Catherine's significant involvement in the recent report was "another crucial moment" for her early childhood work and that she is "enormously grateful" for the work the group has done.

He added that the recent report was a "rallying cry" to business leaders to focus on early childhood support to "transform the way" the UK supports a person's early life.

On the other hand, The Daily Mail and The Guardian quoted Downing Street officials and several government ministries as saying they were briefed about the report. However, they also stressed that the effort was independent and not a political campaign, as the country is potentially facing a general election this year. 

VCPost reported that the UK officially ended its recession a few weeks ago after reporting better-than-anticipated GDP growth of 0.6% in the first quarter of 2024.

READ MORE: UK's Former Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi Settles $6 Million Tax Error Payment

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