Royal Corner

Kate's Tiny Happy People

The Duchess of Cambridge backs The BBC's Tiny Happy People Initiative.

JULY 14th, 2020

The Duchess of Cambridge welcomed three families to Sandringham to launch Tiny Happy People - © Kensington Palace


he Duchess of Cambridge has given her backing to the BBC’s new initiative, Tiny Happy People. It is aimed at helping parents and carers of children aged 0-4 develop their little one’s language skills. Through free online videos and quizzes, the initiative has been a long-time in development, with the Duchess of Cambridge’s involvement stretching back months.

Tiny Happy People will combine a range of online activities including parenting tips, films, articles and quizzes. Every element of the five-year initiative is placed under one simple message – talk to children from as early an age as possible. It is a mantra which the Duchess is a strong advocate of. In an interview with BBC Breakfast, the mum-of-three said: “The science shows how important relationships and safe and nurturing environments are for children, particularly under 5, and that's what really matters.”

The Duchess launches Tiny Happy People - © BBC Breakfast/BBC

To launch the initiative, the Duchess invited three families to the Queen’s Estate in Sandringham, where she discussed the impact of the pandemic and how Tiny Happy People have helped them cope. One of the parents she spoke with was Ryan, a single co-parenting father, who said the online courses had helped him to identify that his eight-month-old daughter Mia has five different cries.

"He's learned a huge amount from Tiny Happy People," the duchess said after her conversation with Ryan.

"It's information like that I wish I had had as a first-time mum, it's gold dust really for families to be given those tips and tools to be able to use, particularly in those first five years.”

The Duchess of Cambridge has been a long champion of early years development, right from her University Days. That passion over the subject has grown since becoming a mother to Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – who Catherine admitted is struggling with the social distancing rules.

“Louis doesn’t understand social distancing. So he goes out wanting to cuddle everything, particularly any babies younger than him,” she revealed.

Catherine speaks to Ryan and his daughter Mia over how they've used the Initiative - © Getty Images

The initiative is another element of Catherine’s earlier work in the field of child development. Her 5 Big Questions Survey is set to reveal their results soon, though has seen a delay due to the overwhelming response from the public.

For Catherine, the importance of Tiny Happy People is paramount to the stability of future generations: “It's information like that I wish I had had as a first time mum, it's gold dust really for families to be given those tips and tools to be able to use, particularly in those first five years.” And those sentiments have become music to professional’s ears.

Research by the National Literacy Trust has shown once children start behind, they stay behind. It leads to negative performances in schools, job prospects and even life expectancy. Another report conducted by the Department of Education shows 27% of children in England do not reach the necessary level of literacy development by the time they start primary school.

The Duchess also explored her creative side by helping to design a character which will feature in two animations of parenting – one about making eye contact, and another around singing to babies.

To access Tiny Happy People, you can visit their website here.

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