, is the recognition, understanding, and use of mathematics and having the capabilities to use mathematics to achieve a goal whether in personal, school, or work situations.
For children, developing numeracy skills early gives them a foundation for learning how to use mathematics in everyday life, for problem-solving and making informed decisions using mathematical concepts and data.
In early childhood, children start developing ‘number sense’ at as young as 6 months of age. It is important that this innate capacity to learn is fostered with plenty of practice to make the understanding of more complex mathematical concepts that will be introduced in the school years easier.
Children enter school with a wide range of early numeracy skills but they vary greatly in how they acquire, and how quickly they acquire, different concepts (Klibanoff, Levine, Huttenlocher, Vasilyeva, & Hedges, 2006; Kroesbergen, Van Luit, Van Lieshout, Van Loosbroek, & Van de Rijt, 2009).
Children’s informal number sense when they enter school provides a foundation for their school mathematics achievement and strongly predicts their maths competence later in school (Geary, 2015). More on these studies can be found here.