27 November 2020

UK public attitudes to the early years explored through new landmark study

The findings of the UK’s biggest ever survey on early years have been published today (27 November).

Commissioned by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Ipsos MORI carried out a national survey in January 2020, asking the general public for their views on early childhood to start a national conversation on this important life stage by asking ‘5 Big Questions on the Under Fives’. The survey received over 500,000 responses, making it the biggest survey of its kind.

The publication of this research follows nine years of work by The Duchess of Cambridge in which she has looked at how difficult experiences in early childhood are often the root cause of key social challenges such as poor mental health, family breakdown, addiction and homelessness. Throughout this time, the Duchess has listened to the early years sector, convening a steering group of experts in 2018 to look at how collaborative work could bring about positive change.

The findings are published along with further qualitative and ethnographic research, a national representative survey conducted before the pandemic, and a survey on the impact of COVID-19 on families, together generating ‘5 Big Insights’. These insights include that 70% of parents feel judged by others, which negatively impacts their mental health; and that the specific importance of the early years is underestimated by one in four people.

Learn more about the 5 Big Insights

Read the full report