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The Duchess of Cambridge launches 5 Big Questions

Catherine joined a sensory workshop in Cardiff. Photo: Geoff Caddick/Getty Images

The Duchess of Cambridge launched a landmark new survey during a visit to MiniBrum at Thinktank in the Birmingham Science Museum. The 5 Big Questions survey aims to spark the biggest conversation about caring for children in their early years and identify the biggest priorities for parents, carers and communities. The data collected will help inform the Duchesses continued work in the early years by being able to focus on and make lasting change in the areas that are most important to those who are helping raise the next generation.

Catherine was given a tour of the child sized mini city at the Birmingham Science Museum and played with the children during her visit. She also spoke with parents, carers and Giovanna Fletcher who hosts the Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast which aims to ensure that new mothers don't feel alone. Catherine spoke with staff and volunteers about how science proves the importance of the early years and how important these conversations are in the midst of raising a new generation.

The Duchess of Cambridge accepts flowers from a child during her visit to Birmingham. Photo: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

The Duchess continued on to visit Cardiff, Surrey and London to continue promoting the survey. During her first stop in Cardiff, the Duchess of Cambridge joined a baby sensory class at the Ely and Caerau children's centre. She spoke with parents and staff about the support they received as well as her own struggles when she became a first time mother. Catherine mentioned how isolated their home in Anglesey was when Prince George was first born since she was away from her family and Prince William had been working nights at search and rescue. She said how much she would have liked a centre like the Ely and Caerau Children's Centre during that time.

From Cardiff the Duchess traveled onto Surrey where she visited HMP Send and met with some of the women she had met in 2015 who have been successfully rehabilitated, released and are rebuilding their families. She learned about the work that the Forward Trust does in supporting people in rebuilding relationships with their friends, family and reconnecting with their children.

The Duchess played with moms and babies during a workshop.Photo: Getty Images

The Duchesses work in the early years began many years ago now when she realized how many problems and struggles adults face can be traced back to the pivotal first five years in a child's life. She spoke with Kirsty who she had first met during a visit to the prison in 2015. After adverse experiences and years in and out of the care system, Kirsty turned to drugs and alcohol during a ten year cycle of addiction and re-offending. She has since been helped by the programmes at HMP Send and is working to rebuild her life following years of battling addiction.

The Duchesses 24 hour tour to promote this survey not only highlights incredible organizations that are working to give children the best possible start in life but programmes that allow adults a second chance who have faced struggles and hardships. The early years are vital to physical and mental health later in life and giving the next generation the best possible start in life will help abate many of the worst issues faced by adults across the United Kingdom.

The 5 Big Questions survey takes less than five minutes to complete and allows you to add your voice to the early years discussion. You can take the survey here. xx

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