The Duchess of Cambridge has announced the launch of a new centre and a brand new website to drive awareness and action on the impact of the early years with the belief that "early childhood is the social equivalent of climate change".
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The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood will focus on three key areas: research; developing new solutions with public and private voluntary sectors; and campaigns to raise awareness.
WATCH: Kate Middleton launches new early childhood centre
The landmark step for Kate comes alongside the publication of the Centre's inaugural report, Big Change Starts Small, which the Duchess shared teasers about on Instagram ahead of the announcement.
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Kate has also launched a new website for the centre to coincide with the launch, which will share updates on its latest research and initiatives.
Kate has launched the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood
In a video to mark the launch, Kate, wearing a necklace engraved with her children's initials said: "My own journey into understanding the importance of early childhood actually started with adults, and not with children.
"It was about prevention. I wanted to understand what more we could do to help some of society's toughest social challenges, and what more we could do to help with the rising rates of poor mental health.
"I've spoken to psychiatrists and neuroscientists, to practitioners and academics, and parents alike, and what has become clear is that the best investment for our future health and happiness is the first five years of life."
William and Kate have three children of their own
Last year, the Duchess toured the UK to launch the 5 Big Questions on the Under-Fives survey, which aimed to spark a nationwide conversation on the early years. Kate then delivered her biggest keynote speech to date and answered questions from royal fans during a rare Q&A as findings from the survey were unveiled in November.
Crucially it revealed that most people don't understand the specific importance of early childhood and that the pandemic had resulted in a dramatic increase in parental loneliness.
Speaking about the launch of the Centre, Kate added: "And that is why today I am launching the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood.
"Working closely with others, the Centre hopes to raise awareness of why the first five years are just so important for our future outcomes, and what we can do as a society to embrace this golden opportunity to create a happier, more mentally healthy, more nurturing society.
"By working together, my hope is that we can change the way we think about early childhood, and transform lives for generations to come. Because I truly believe that big change starts small."
The Duchess has sparked a nationwide conversation on the early years
A royal aide said: "The Duchess has made the observation that the more you learn about the science of early childhood, whether it's brain development, social science, what it means for our adult mental health, the more you realise that this is the social equivalent to climate change, but it is not discussed with the same seriousness or strategic intent that that issue is.
"And so, her mission for the last few years has been exploring what is the best way for her to build something, build relationships, her own knowledge, expertise, so that she can help position this work with that sort of importance."
The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood will employ around six members of staff to begin with and will be based at the Royal Foundation's Offices in London. It will be funded by the Foundation's supporters, with a view to direct funding partnerships in the future.
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