Mum-of-three Kate backed the launch of the ‘Tiny Happy People’ programme launched by the BBC, offering new parents a new range of free online tools including activities, videos, articles and quizzes launched to support development of under-fives language and communications skills.
The duchess, mother to Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, has been secretly involved since last year when she visited Broadcasting House in November to work on some of the video resources and social media content during a creative workshop.
Kate, who has been focusing her work on children’s early years development over previous years, met with three families who have been involved in the creation and piloting of the digital resource, which features free activity and play ideas for 0-4-year-olds.
The royal, dressed in a long black dress decorated with large white polka dots, held a socially distanced chat in a garden last week with Ryan and his eight-month-old daughter Mia; Henrietta, Abu and their 11-month-old daughter Amirah; and Kerry, Darren and their two-year-old son Dexter to see how they have used the resources.
She said: “In the first few months there’s a huge amount of support from midwives and health visitors and things, but from then onwards there’s a massive gap before they then start school.
“Hearing some of the parents today, Ryan at the beginning saying how his baby has five different cries, he’s learnt a huge amount from Tiny Happy People and it’s information like that I wish I had had as a first time mum.
“(For) so many parents, it’s gold dust really for families to be given those tips and tools to be able to use in those first five years.
“I am delighted to have been part of its journey and hope families across the UK will enjoy exploring the resources.”
The BBC said the duchess helped with the character and background development for the two animations.
She was pictured smiling and gesturing with her hands as she spent time with the youngsters and their families.
In England, one in four children starting primary school are behind with their language learning, rising to 42% in some areas, according to the Department for Education.
The online platform offers a range of free films, articles, quizzes and parenting tips that have been specially designed with experts to help to nurture children's language right from pregnancy.
It also includes advice on staying at home during the pandemic, such as how to create a calmer bedtime routine and how to soothe youngsters' anxiety as lockdown restrictions lift.
Kensington Palace said the Cambridges' Royal Foundation will collaborate with the BBC on the long-term roll-out of the initiative.
Early years development and children's mental health and wellbeing are a key focus of Kate's royal duties.
Tiny Happy People - which can be found at bbc.co.uk/tiny-happy-people - focuses on encouraging parents and carers to talk to children from as early an age as possible.