Parental Investments and Child Development: Counting Games and Early Numeracy

Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 34/16

Date: 2016


Chris Ryan


While reading to children affects the development of their own early reading skills, the set of numeracy activities studied here and undertaken by Australian parents with children before they start school had no impact on their Year 4 achievement in mathematics. It is possible that other, unmeasured parental activities affect the early numeracy skills of children, but just what these activities might be is unclear from the available literature. Activities undertaken prior to starting school other than reading to children also appear to contribute little to the early reading skills of children. Broader measures of activities, better measurement and study design are necessary to make progress in understanding how the home learning environment affects early child learning.

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  • Child development, numeracy, parental investments, achievement