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Strengthen social and emotional skills

Prioritise and nurture social and emotional skills in young children and the adults in their lives.

A child in a red uniform sits on a carpet in a nursery and plays with blocks of LEGO whilst another child does the same in the background.

Social and emotional skills are vital to a resilient, world-class workforce and the continued success of UK business. They have their foundations in early childhood.​​

Investing in early childhood is an investment in the health and happiness of children today, and the wellbeing, skills and productivity of our future workforce. This is becoming increasingly important as shifts in the expectations and requirements of employers increasingly emphasise the importance of social and emotional skills.​​

The first five years are a time of rapid physical, cognitive and social and emotional development. It is during early childhood that we lay the foundations for our social and emotional skills. These are two groups of interdependent skills that shape who we are, how we manage our emotions and thoughts, how we communicate and connect with others, and how we explore the world around us.

The Business Taskforce Report sets out the business case for prioritising these skills in young children and the adults in their lives.​


estimated potential economic value of improving levels of non-cognitive skills in the workforce in the UK.


the proportion of children in the UK start school without achieving a good level of development

1 in 4

parents say their child’s mental health has worsened due to the cost of living crisis​

The Lego Group: designing products to develop social and emotional skills

See how Business Taskforce member The Lego Group are developing products and training to support social and emotional development during early childhood.

The LEGO Group is donating 3,000 LEGO® Education Build Me “Emotions” sets, supported by training materials, to early years providers in the UK, helping children to explore emotions in a fun and engaging way.

“In less than 20 years, the toddlers of today will be entering the workforce.


How quickly might these young employees succeed if they entered workplaces that valued social and emotional skills? What new advancements might businesses make if employees arrived equipped with the resilience to learn new tasks and the acumen to contribute to a team?


As businesses prepare for their next 5, 10, or 20 years of work, investing in social and emotional skills might be the most strategic plan of all.”


Caitlin M. Dermody, Harvard Graduate School of Education