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The Business Taskforce

The Business Taskforce for Early Childhood was established in March 2023 by The Princess of Wales to galvanise business action on early childhood. Taskforce members have worked together to understand the scale of the opportunity and the role that business can play.

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A dozen members of the Business Taskforce for Early Childhood are shown mid conversation whilst sat around a long wooden table.

Run by business, for business, the Business Taskforce play an essential role in The Princess of Wales’ work to transform the way in which society prioritises and supports children and the adults in their lives during the earliest years.

Prioritising and investing in early childhood is vital to the life chances and happiness of today’s children, as well as the health of the economy and society for generations to come. Given the key role of the business community in both the growth of our economy and in shaping our society, as well as the clear interest in developing a strong future workforce, this is an opportunity to come together to affect long-term change. On the report launch, the leaders of the eight Taskforce members came together and said:

“Last year, Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales brought us together. She asked us to think radically about our approach to early childhood and the golden opportunity it presents to transform the lives of children today, as well as their future life outcomes.

“Since then, our organisations have come together to share our knowledge and experience, as well as deepen our own understanding of the importance of early childhood development, to establish this comprehensive and compelling business case for change. 

“If we get this right, the results for business, for the economy and for society are clear for all to see: a happier, more productive workforce today; a future workforce equipped with the skills needed to deal with all the complexity and challenges of the modern world, and £45.5 billion in value added for the national economy each year. “As leaders of some of the UK’s largest businesses, we have a responsibility, but also a very clear vested interest in driving change in this area. We hope this report will encourage businesses of all sizes, across the UK, to join us and help build a healthy, happy society for everyone.”

Taskforce member CEOs who released the joint statement are:

  • Amanda Blanc, Group Chief Executive Officer, Aviva
  • Shirine Khoury-Haq, Chief Executive Officer, The Co-operative Group
  • Richard Houston, Senior Partner and Chief Executive, Deloitte
  • Richard Walker, Executive Chairman, Iceland Foods
  • Peter Jelkeby, Chief Executive Officer, Ikea UK and Ireland
  • Christian Pau, General Manager UK & Ireland, The LEGO Group
  • Paul Thwaite, Chief Executive Officer, NatWest Group
  • Richard Sharp, Head of Unilever UK&I