Vulnerable in physical development

What is it?

Vulnerable in Physical Development is based on the percent of Kindergarten children who scored below the vulnerability cut-off (7.3077 out of 10) in areas of physical development that include gross and fine motor skills, energy levels, independence in looking after own needs, and daily living skills.

Why is it important?

Children who are vulnerable in this area of development may be sometimes tired, hungry or have low energy levels. They also may have average or poor fine and gross motor skills or have below average overall physical development. Physical health and development in the early years sets the foundation for health in later childhood and into adulthood. Poor physical development can increase the likelihood of chronic disease, and can impact mental health and learning outcomes.

What does it mean?

Children in Toronto are less vulnerable in physical development as compared to Ontario as a whole. In 2014/15, approximately 15% of children in Toronto were identified as vulnerable on the EDI physical development domain compared to 16.1% in Ontario. Figure 1 shows neighbourhoods in parts of the Downtown Core, parts of North York and south Scarborough had the highest rates of vulnerability in physical development. Figure 2 shows that children who live in neighbourhoods with Very High inequities are more likely to be vulnerable than children in Very Low inequities neighbourhoods. Figure 3 shows that in physical development, boys are more likely to be vulnerable than girls.

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