The Duchess of Cambridge and US first lady Jill Biden have written a joint article on the importance of early childhood, following their visit to a primary school in Cornwall, where the G7 is taking place.

The two women met for the first time on Friday at Connor Downs Academy in Hayle, where they took part in a round-table discussion with experts on the importance of the early years of childhood for future outcomes.

In the article, published by CNN, they say there must be a fundamental shift in how the UK and US approach the earliest years of life.

"If we care about how children perform at school, how they succeed in their careers when they are older, and about their lifelong mental and physical health, then we have to care about how we are nurturing their brains, their experiences and relationships in the early years before school," they wrote.

"The evidence from the UK and US and internationally is now overwhelming. Multiple studies show that it is these early years that really matter for lifelong outcomes. It is time to put this evidence at the heart of how we rebuild with boldness and purpose from the pandemic."

The duo explained the importance of making parents and caregivers alike feel supported so they are able to support children in the way they need. 

"We can all do our part by valuing the role of mothers, fathers and caregivers. If we want strong economies and strong societies, we need to make sure that those raising and caring for children get the support they need", the added.

"We can all make sure that the parents in our lives — the young couple who lives next door, the single mother or father we work with or the brother or sister raising their first child — feel valued, supported, and cared for. We also need to value those who work with babies and young children; they play an essential part in the future of our communities."

The women added that they hoped the UK and US would be able to work together "across borders and oceans" to elevate the importance of learning for children, including undertaking international research projects and highlighting the most successful, innovative examples of early years interventions.

The pair added that post-pandemic there would be "few issues more worthy of our attention" than early childhood care and education for both nations.