The Early Years Matter Coalition is raising awareness after a government study from 2009-2014, showed that one in four children across Alberta struggle in their development by kindergarten.

The study measured five areas including physical health, emotional well being, language and social skills.

It found that four out of 10 children in Lacombe struggle in the area of communication and general knowledge.

It also found that roughly one in three children struggle with language and thinking skills and emotional maturity.

Early Years Champion, Louise Rellis explains what parents can for children who struggle in this area.

“Reading is one of those areas that cover so many developmental points. When you’re sitting there reading to your kids, ask them questions. What’s the story about? What’s on this page? Simple things like that.”

Rellis adds, they want parents to understand that the building blocks for a child’s future happen within the first five years.

She also says there are other resources in the community like Parent Link and library programs that can help a child’s development as well.

For more information you can contact Early Years Matter through their website or Facebook page.