Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland's two-year-olds 'less developed'

By Lindsay Fergus

Northern Ireland’s two-year-olds are less physically developed than toddlers in the UK and the US, according to a new report.

Their gross motor skills, which are developed by play and physical activity, were found to be lagging behind their UK and USA counterparts.

Tots from Northern Ireland — and in particular those from lower socio-economic backgrounds — were also less advanced in social and emotional skills and behaviour development.

Siobhan Fitzpatrick, Early Years chief executive, commented: “It remains concerning that, despite guidance from our chief medical officer encouraging young children to engage in more physical activity and play, we are lagging behind in this vitally important area.

“It is particularly important that we invest well, invest early, and ensure our poorest children benefit.”

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