Kate admits she would have welcomed extra support after having Prince George

Kate admits she would have welcomed extra support after having Prince George

The Duchess of Cambridge has admitted she would have welcomed extra support after giving birth to Prince George while she lived in rural North Wales.

Kate was speaking at an integrated children's centre which offers support to parents during her visit to Wales, where she and Prince William lived for three years until 2015 while he worked as an RAF search and rescue pilot.

Her visit to Ely and Caerau Children's Centre in Cardiff on Wednesday was part of the launch of her landmark national survey about the early years development of children, titled "five big questions on the under fives".

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Kate launches national survey on childhood
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Kate launches national survey on childhood
The Duchess of Cambridge chats with mother Estell Courlenr and her daughter India Courlen Mayvow during a visit to Ely & Caerau Children's Centre in Cardiff. PA Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 22, 2020. The duchess was taking part in a 24-hour tour of the country to launch '5 big questions on the under 5s', a survey which aims to spark the biggest ever conversation on early childhood to bring about positive, lasting change for generations to come. See PA story ROYAL Cambridge. Photo credit should read: Geoff Caddick/PA Wire
The Duchess of Cambridge leaving Ely & Caerau Children's Centre in Cardiff. PA Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 22, 2020. The duchess was taking part in a 24-hour tour of the country to launch '5 big questions on the under 5s', a survey which aims to spark the biggest ever conversation on early childhood to bring about positive, lasting change for generations to come. See PA story ROYAL Cambridge. Photo credit should read: Geoff Caddick/PA Wire
The Duchess of Cambridge leaving Ely & Caerau Children's Centre in Cardiff. PA Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 22, 2020. The duchess was taking part in a 24-hour tour of the country to launch '5 big questions on the under 5s', a survey which aims to spark the biggest ever conversation on early childhood to bring about positive, lasting change for generations to come. See PA story ROYAL Cambridge. Photo credit should read: Geoff Caddick/PA Wire
The Duchess of Cambridge at HMP Send in Surrey where she met both rehabilitated and current female inmates. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/EMPICS
The Duchess of Cambridge meets mothers and children during a visit to Ely & Caerau Children's Centre in Cardiff.
The Duchess of Cambridge walks out of 'Cath's Cottage' during a visit to Ely & Caerau Children's Centre in Cardiff.
The Duchess of Cambridge meets children during a visit to Ely & Caerau Children's Centre in Cardiff.
The Duchess of Cambridge chats with during a visit to Ely & Caerau Children's Centre in Cardiff.
The Duchess of Cambridge walks out of 'Cath's Cottage' during a visit to Ely & Caerau Children's Centre in Cardiff.
The Duchess of Cambridge receives a posy of flowers from four year-old Erin during a visit to Ely & Caerau Children's Centre in Cardiff.
The Duchess of Cambridge chats with children during a visit to Ely & Caerau Children's Centre in Cardiff.
The Duchess of Cambridge chats with mothers and babies during a visit to Ely & Caerau Children's Centre in Cardiff.
The Duchess of Cambridge chats with mothers and their children during a visit to Ely & Caerau Children's Centre in Cardiff.
The Duchess of Cambridge chats with a father and child during a visit to Ely & Caerau Children's Centre in Cardiff.
The Duchess of Cambridge chats with parents and babies during a visit to Ely & Caerau Children's Centre in Cardiff.
EMBARGOED TO 2230 TUESDAY JANUARY 21 The Duchess of Cambridge attends the launch of a UK-wide survey on early childhood at Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum.
EMBARGOED TO 2230 TUESDAY JANUARY 21 The Duchess of Cambridge attends the launch of a UK-wide survey on early childhood at Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum.
EMBARGOED TO 2230 TUESDAY JANUARY 21 A girl smiles as the Duchess of Cambridge attends the launch of a UK-wide survey on early childhood at Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum.
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After hearing about the support parents receive from the centre, Kate said: "It's nice to be back in Wales.

"I was chatting to some of the mums, I had just had George and William was still working with search and rescue, so we came up here when George was a tiny, tiny little baby, in the middle of Anglesey.

"It was so isolated, so cut off, I didn't have my family around me, he was doing night shifts, so if only I'd had a centre like this at a certain time ..."

Head of the centre, Carolyn Asante, told Kate: "That's the thing, we all need it (support). It's not about social status. When you're a parent, you take home this little baby and I don't know about you but I didn't know which way was up or down."

The Duchess of Cambridge playing with children
Kate got stuck in playing with toddlers at the centre (Geoff Caddick/PA)

After the visit, Mrs Asante praised Kate for being "so genuine and down to earth", and said she was happy that there would be a focus on the development of younger children thanks to the Duchess's survey.

Mrs Asante said: "She was genuinely interested in what the children had to say, and you can't fake that.

"It's great to have the spotlight shone on the early years because everyone here recognises its importance and that it's such a crucial stage of development, so if we can get it right at this stage we've given children the best possible start.

"I think it's brilliant she's chosen this to be her focus."

Mrs Asante said there should be more access to centres like hers for parents who could benefit from support, saying: "It doesn't matter where you come from, as a parent you will benefit from this kind of approach.

"This non-judgmental group you can go to when you've had a rubbish morning at home and you're not feeling as though anything's going right or you're doing a good job.

"The plan was to roll out this kind of model more widely, but there has never been the money."

Kate met children and parents at the centre, which offers support in both Welsh and English, and was seen playing with toddlers before being marched to a guinea pig house by one young girl.

The duchess during her tour of the children's centre
The duchess during her visit to the children's centre (Geoff Caddick/PA)

The "five big questions on the under fives" online poll, conducted by Ipsos Mori on behalf of the Royal Foundation, is thought to be the biggest survey of its kind and aims to encourage a nationwide conversation on early childhood.

The duchess, who is mother to three young children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, said at an earlier visit to Birmingham: "I'm here today to help launch a survey to hear society's views about raising the next generation.

"Parents, carers and families are at the heart of caring for children in the formative years, so that is why I want to listen to them.

"As a parent, I know how much we cherish the future health and happiness of our children.

"I want to hear the key issues affecting our families and communities so I can focus my work on where it is needed most.

"My ambition is to provide a lasting change for generations to come."

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