She also met with a panel of experts at the London School of Economics (LSE) to discuss the inaugural report of her new Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood.
Speaking at the event she said the “the time for action is now” on the issue of early childhood development, describing it as the “social equivalent of climate change”.
She insisted she was not looking for a “quick win” with her early years work, but wanted to take a “holistic approach” to better prepare the next generation of parents.
And she hoped her new institution would make it “more common to speak about emotions and feelings”, enabling adults to better understand how affection affects their own behaviour.
The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood is inspired by research showing the first five years of childhood fundamentally shape adulthood, with social challenges such as addiction, violence, family breakdown, homelessness and mental health having their roots in the earliest years of life.
The centre will focus on three key areas: research; developing new solutions with public and private voluntary sectors; and campaigns to raise awareness.
Lord Hague, chairman of the Cambridges’ Royal Foundation, described the centre’s creation as a pivotal moment for the duchess’ work in the area.
“Her Royal Highness and The Royal Foundation are determined to help bring about lasting change for future generations,” he said.
Kate’s centre will employ around six members of staff to begin with and be based at the Royal Foundation’s offices in London, and be funded by the foundation’s supporters, with a view to direct funding partnerships in the future.