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Kate serves breakfast to youngsters at social enterprise nursery

UK News | Published:

The Duchess of Cambridge was promoting her early years survey during a visit to a nursery and pre-school in south London.

Kate visits a nursery

The Duchess of Cambridge showed off her hosting skills delivering breakfast to hungry children as she revealed more than 100,000 people have so far completed her ambitious early years survey.

Kate added bowls of fruit to a trolley laden with cereals and milk before wheeling it into a classroom during a visit to a social enterprise-run nursery and pre-school in Stockwell, south London.

The duchess’s survey, called Five Big Questions On The Under Fives, was launched last week and aims to spark a UK-wide conversation about creating the best foundations for children to thrive.

Kate, who has spent eight years working on early years issues and convened a steering group of experts, said during the visit: “It’s great to visit places like this where communities come together to support one another.

“Last week I launched a UK-wide survey on early childhood because I want to hear society’s views about raising the next generation.

“I’m so happy that over 100,000 people from all across the UK have already completed it, and I can’t wait to see the results.”

The month-long online poll, conducted by Ipsos Mori on behalf of Kate’s Royal Foundation, is thought to be the biggest survey of its kind and the data will guide her future work.

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Kate discussed the project with staff during her visit to the LEYF (London Early Years Foundation) Stockwell Gardens Nursery and Pre-School.

The LEYF is a social enterprise that aims to add value to the life of the community and future generations by strengthening local networks.

It operates 39 nurseries in some of London’s most disadvantaged areas and provides high-quality childcare to more than 4,000 children, employing over 800 staff locally – along with 60 apprentices – across 11 London boroughs.

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When Kate first arrived she met a group of parents who had just dropped off their children, and, chatting to one father, she highlighted how more men are now engaged with the crucial initial stages of their child’s life.

She said: “I think that’s changed, there’s a lot more engagement from parents in general and particularly fathers who want to be involved in this early stage of development.”

In the kitchen, Kate chatted to trainee pre-school chefs Luke Nelson-Neil and Rouchelle Scott-Ashby, who are taking part in a 12-month apprenticeship run by the LEYF Early Years Chef Academy.

The trio chatted about food nutrition for children and, when they started discussing particular foods, Mr Nelson-Neil joked about beetroot, saying: “I still can’t get them to eat it.”

The duchess, who is the mother of three young children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, said: “Mine absolutely love it – it’s one of those things, until you try it, you don’t know.”

After taking in breakfast for the children, she joined three little girls who sat down at tiny tables to eat, and the Kate took a shine to three-year-old Lucy, stroking her arm and leaning forward as she asked her what she wanted.

Kate poured out cereal for Lucy and her classmates, asking them to say “Stop” when there was enough in their bowls, and later she turned to a plate of orange, banana, grape and papaya segments, asking “What do you think of the fruit? What’s your favourite?”

Before leaving, she high-fived the trio and joined a group of three and four-your-year-olds playing with shells in a water play pit, and she also joined another breakfast table of youngsters.

Royal visit to nursery and pre-school – Stockwell
The Duchess of Cambridge leaves the London Early Years Foundation Stockwell Gardens Nursery and Pre-School (Aaron Chown/PA)

After the visit, the duchess held a private meeting with Giovanna Fletcher, who is behind the Happy Mum Happy Baby podcast and has also written about being a mother to three children with husband Tom Fletcher, a member of the band McFly.

Mrs Fletcher was invited to the launch of Kate’s early years survey in Birmingham last week and was asked to meet the duchess again on Wednesday, spending 30 minutes with her.

Following the royal visit, LEYF chief executive June O’Sullivan said: “You can’t capture just how important the early years are.

“There’s a raft of research that shows if you invest in them when they’re little, if you give them the right kind of nurture, if you give them the time to speak, learn, listen and concentrate – and opportunities of personal development – then they actually grow into really capable, successful human beings.”

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