Princess Kate is getting some expert opinions on her Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood.
On Wednesday, the Princess of Wales invited eight professionals from academia and science whose work focuses on early childhood development to Windsor Castle in support of her initiative dedicated to optimizing the first few years of a child’s life. According to the royal’s office at Kensington Palace, the experts will offer strategic advice and provide oversight to her foundation’s work, acting as an advisory group. The palace went on to explain that the group includes specialists in neuroscience, psychology, perinatal psychiatry, and policy development who gathered together to support Princess Kate and the Centre “as work is accelerated to promote the fundamental importance of the first five years of a child’s life.” They will work together to help the royal’s foundation commission new research, learn best practices in the UK for achieving their goals, and raise awareness surrounding the importance of the first five years of a child’s life.
A few of the experts Kate called upon are people she’s worked with in the past. For example, the royal invited Professor Peter Fonagy who is the head of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families to this gathering, a group that the Princess of Wales has worked with for a number of years. Eamon McCrory, a professor of developmental neuroscience and psychopathology at University College London, was also in attendance and is someone Kate has turned to numerous times when she first began learning about the importance of brain development in children. She also invited Dr. Alain Gregoire, the consultant perinatal psychiatrist and president and founder of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, Dr. Trudi Seneviratne, the registrar at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Ed Vainker, OBE, the co-founder of Reach Academy Feltham, Carey Oppenheim, the project lead at the Nuffield Foundation, Imran Hussain, the director of policy and campaigns for Action for Children, and Beverley Barnett-Jones MBE, the associate director at Nuffield Family Justice Observatory and trustee at the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care.
Amanda Berry, the chief executive of the Royal Foundation, said in a statement following the meeting, “Working with such an eminent group of people is an absolute privilege. I know their advice and experience is hugely valued by the Princess, and the whole Centre for Early Childhood team, as we continue to drive awareness of, and action on, the transformative impact of the early years.” She continued, “The Advisory Group’s support in our key areas of research, collaboration and awareness raising will be invaluable and I look forward to working closely with them to make a difference for generations to come.”
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