Visits to Northern Ireland and Scotland to talk Early Years and 5 Big Questions


Following visits in England and Wales to promote her survey on The Early Years, The Duchess of Cambridge took the survey to Northern Ireland and Scotland where she heard from local people about how experiences in the early years can have a significant impact on later life.

The Duchess visited the Ark Open Farm near Belfast and spoke to parents and grandparents from across the community about the themes covered in her survey, including the role that parents and society play in ensuring children have the best possible start in life.

On the same day, Her Royal Highness also visited the Social Bite café in Aberdeen where she spoke with employees, volunteers and customers who have experienced homelessness about how early childhood experiences can have a lasting impact. Social Bite runs social enterprise cafés across Scotland and distributes food and hot drinks to people experiencing homelessness. The organisation also employs staff who have experienced homelessness themselves.

Conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of The Royal Foundation, ‘5Big Questions on the Under-Fives’ aims to spark a national conversation on the early years that will ultimately help bring about positive, lasting change for generations to come.

The survey was launched on the 22nd January and follows eight years of work by The Duchess. It is designed to bring together the thoughts of as many people as possible – recognising that everyone has a role in ensuring strong, healthy foundations for the youngest in our society that will positively affect their lifelong outcomes.


The findings should provide a vital source of information for the early years sector, helping it to better understand public perceptions of the importance of the early years, and the first-hand experiences of parents, families and carers. This public feedback will also help to focus Her Royal Highness’s work through The Royal Foundation as she endeavours to provide children across the UK with the best foundations to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

To promote the survey, The Duchess had previously visited MiniBrum at Birmingham Science Museum on 21st January and both Ely and Careau Children’s Centre in Cardiff and HMP Send in Woking on 22nd January. She also visited LEYF Nursery in Southwark on 29th January.

Read more about the 5 Big Questions survey