The duchess was speaking with staff at a children and parents center in Cardiff, Wales, the Ely and Careau Children’s Centre, where she was promoting her new early childhood survey. The organization is located in an economically impoverished neighborhood of Cardiff, the Welsh capital. At the centre, parents can enroll their children in kindergarten as well as get various kinds of support.
“It’s nice to be back in Wales. I was chatting to some of the mums,” Duchess Catherine said to the assembled group. “It was the first year and I’d just had George — William was still working with search and rescue — and we came up here and I had a tiny, tiny baby in the middle of Anglesey.”
The duchess continued, “It was so isolated, so cut off. I didn’t have any family around, and he was doing night shifts. So… if only I had had a center like this. I see amazing work you’re doing here in so many areas. It’s just bringing it to light. The critical work you’re doing has a massive social — and economic — impact later down the years.”
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In Cardiff The Duchess of Cambridge joined a baby sensory class at the Ely and Caerau Children’s Centre to hear about the support that parents and staff receive, and to talk about the #5BigQuestions on the Under 5s Survey. The launch of the survey follows eight years of work by The Duchess, in which she has explored how experiences in early childhood often lie at the root of the hardest social challenges the country faces today. What we experience in the earliest years – from in the womb to the age of five – is instrumental in shaping our future lives. It takes just 5 minutes to have your say in the biggest ever conversation on early childhood – click the link in our bio to answer the #5BigQuestions on the Under 5s.
Kate spoke at the end of her visit to the centre, after playing with babies and toddlers, chatting with numerous parents and caregivers, and even meeting the centre’s resident guinea pigs. The visit was part of her research tour, promoting her 5 Big Questions survey.
One of the centre’s workers spoke with Kate about the challenge of helping parents with questions about child-rearing. Kate replied, “That’s why I wanted to do the survey. Unless parents are supported, it makes the job that much harder.”
The duchess clearly made a splash with the kids as well as the staff. River Rowson, 3, happily showed Kate some pretend Brussels sprouts and broccoli.
“Are you cooking too? Are you going to make a stir fry?” she asked him.
“You’re my friend,” he replied adorably.
“You’re my friend too,” Kate answered.
Teacher Rachel Fulthorpe told People, “She was really lovely, interested in the children. She got down to their level to speak to them in an age-appropriate way. She was really friendly.”
Elsewhere in the centre, Kate wiped off a little girl’s hand, prompting the center manager, Carolyn Asante, to quip, “You’ve got a job — when can you start?”
It’s not hard to imagine Kate taking that job — in a parallel universe, of course.