Primary Outcome


Parent construct: Cognitive development

The ability to manipulate numbers contributes to young people’s success throughout their development. People lacking in numeracy skills are less likely to be employed and are prevented from getting many types of higher paying jobs.1 Numeracy starts with the ability to count and do simple arithmetic. Children who have developed these skills appropriate for their age group are more likely to grasp and do well in elementary school arithmetic.2 Families can build their children’s numerical skills by playing with numbers, such as in certain board and card games.3 Acquiring scientific and technical skills leads to gaining higher paying jobs. By assuring that our children learn and continue to achieve math skills, we will increase their chances of getting good jobs when they leave school.

The numerical skills of our young people are also vital to the future of our communities and the nation. Our economic productivity and the benefits that result from science and engineering will be limited if we do not ensure that our young people develop the mathematical skills they need to succeed in the 21st Century.4


  1. Bynner, J., & Parsons, S. (1997). Does numeracy matter? Evidence from the National Child Development Study on the Impact of Poor Numeracy on Adult Life. London, UK: Basic Skills Agency.  

  2. Welsh, J.A., Nix, R.L., Blair, C., Bierman, K.L., & Nelson, K.E. (2010). The development of cognitive skills and gains in academic school readiness for children from low-income families. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102(1), 43–53.  

  3. LeFevre, J., Skwarchuk, S., Smith-Chant, B.L., Fast, L., Kamawar, D., & Bisanz, J. (2009). Home numeracy experiences and children’s math performance in the early school years. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 41(2), 55-66.  

  4. National Mathematics Advisory Panel. Foundations for Success: The Final Report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel, U.S. Department of Education: Washington, DC, 2008.