Kate briefed on new study into Early Years - but it's not a 'return to work'

The Princess of Wales. Credit: PA

The Princess of Wales has approved a major report out today into the impact of Early Years Education, and fully intends to continue her work in this area when she returns.

Kate was briefed on the findings of a business-led taskforce she set up last year with some major UK employers, even though she remains off work undergoing treatment for her cancer.

The Princess is said to be grateful to the business leaders who published the report into how business can better help children from birth to five-years-old, and has been kept fully up to date with their progress.

“I know, having briefed The Princess on this, that she is enormously grateful to the members of the Taskforce who have made such fantastic progress on this work over the past year," said Christian Guy, who runs The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood

Mr Guy called it “another crucial moment” for Kate’s early childhood work.

"Its impact, and the work of her Centre for Early Childhood, is rolling on as she recovers," he said.

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But staff at Kensington Palace cautioned that the release of the Royal Foundation Business Taskforce report was not to be mistaken for her returning to work.

A spokesman for the Prince and Princess of Wales said her projects are "always on," and “that has been no different” over the past five months, “with a great deal of progress being made”.

The spokesperson added: “The Princess of Wales was the driving force behind the Taskforce", but the announcement "should not be seen or reported on as Her Royal Highness returning to work".

The business leaders assembled by Kate include the bosses of insurance giant Aviva, NatWest, Ikea, Lego, and Unilever.

They have found that proper business investment in the Early Years area - children up to five-years-old - could generate £45 billlion for the UK economy.

They have concluded that money could be found through supporting parents, making businesses more productive and profitable, cutting down the cost of dealing with the effects of anti-social behaviour when a child’s development goes in the wrong direction, and generating extra tax revenues for government.

It’s not known how the Princess of Wales, who announced her cancer diagnosis before Easter, was briefed on the report.

But sources inside her office maintain that she needs the time and space to recover from her treatment and she will return to work once her doctors have given her the green light.

Mr Guy added that the Princess was "excited" by the study. "For her, action is so important. It is a priority for our centre and for her work going forward," he said.

Kensington Palace staff were at the launch for the report, but Kate did not attend.

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