The 2015 AEDC results for the language and cognitive skills domain are encouraging. Approximately 6 per cent of children were considered developmentally vulnerable in 2015 – this is similar to 2012, and is a decrease from 9 per cent in 2009.
The results from this domain tell us that the majority of Australian children, in their first year of school, have adequate basic literacy and numeracy skills, meaning they are able to identify letters and attach sounds to them, and some are able to read simple words and sentences. Most children do not have difficulty with numbers and can count and compare or recognise numbers. Finally, most children show interest in books and reading, as well as math and number games, and do not have many difficulties in remembering things.
These national results point to the benefit of access to early childhood education services and care. However, vulnerability in language and cognitive skills varied between states and territories, suggesting there is still some way to go and more work to do in reducing risk factors that affect children’s development.