Vulnerable in Language and Cognitive Development



Vulnerable in Language
and Cognitive Development

What is it?

Vulnerable in Language and Cognitive Development is based on the percent of Kindergarten children who scored below the vulnerability cut-off (6.2 out of 10) in areas of cognitive development that include reading, writing and numeracy, similarities and differences, and reciting information from memory.

Why is it important?

Children who are vulnerable in Language and Cognitive Development may have challenges attaching sounds to letters, remembering things, counting to 20, or recognizing and comparing numbers. This can significantly impact future school achievement. Literacy and numeracy are essential skills for many areas of life. Foundations for language and literacy skills are laid early in life, and skills accumulate over time.

What does it mean?

Toronto has a similar percent of children vulnerable in Language and Cognitive Development compared to Ontario as a whole. In 2014/15, 6.8% of children in Toronto were vulnerable in this domain. Sixteen (16%) of children who are English Language Learners (ELL) scored vulnerable as compared to less than 6% of non-ELL children. Figure 1 shows neighbourhoods in North Etobicoke and Scarborough had the highest rates of vulnerability in Language and Cognitive Development. Figure 2 shows that neighbourhoods with a higher Inequities Score were more likely to have children who are vulnerable in Language and Cognitive Development. Figure 3 shows that in Language and Cognitive Development, boys are more likely to be vulnerable than girls.

Figure 1: Percent of children who are vulnerable by neighbourhood, Toronto, 2014/15