At the start of the year, the Princess of Wales launched an awareness campaign called Shaping Us to encourage everyone to think about the importance of early childhood. And today, she has used her platform to highlight this area further by appearing in a new video as well as writing an opinion piece for a financial publication.
In a six-minute video posted on Kensington Palace’s Instagram and YouTube channels this morning, Kate spoke with CEO of Iceland Foods, Richard Walker OBE, about the role business can play in creating a supportive environment for parents and families with young children. Standing in the aisles of the Iceland food warehouse in Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, south east England, the Princess of Wales gave her views on why it’s important for business to step in.
“It’s really important that all of us are supporting the most vulnerable in our communities and particularly now, yes when they’re all struggling, the community support is needed now more than ever,” Kate said. Linking the subject to another of her charitable focuses, mental health, the Princess said, “There are more people now talking about mental health. It is becoming less stigmatized, there’s obviously still lots more work we need to do…And I think the social and emotional regulation for all of us, understanding our emotions and feelings, what can we do in order to manage those things that all of us go through on a day to day basis?” Referring to the fact that Iceland now has emoji posters at checkouts to help young children consider their different emotions, Kate said, “My hope would be that more businesses follow suit and have things like emoji posters so we can build a, sort of, more compassionate, empathetic society.”
Richard agreed, telling her, “We’ve got a role and responsibility as a business to help as best we can.” Iceland is one of the UK’s budget supermarkets and is one of eight companies which is taking part in Kate’s Business Taskforce for Early Childhood which was launched earlier this month to play a key role in her Shaping Us campaign.
The Princess today also authored an article in UK publication the Financial Times entitled Investing in early childhood is a down payment on all our futures. In it, she encourages businesses to play a “significant role in changing attitudes” on how society prioritizes early childhood. She wrote of recognizing the challenge for parents “in balancing a successful working life with a nurturing home life during their children’s formative years.”
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