A solid understanding of place value is vital as it links to the four operations in maths, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, among other key skills in maths.
Every digit in a number has a place value. It depends on its position in the number. It is important that children understand that while a digit can be the same, its value depends on where it is in the number.
In school children use tens and ones (Dienes) apparatus to help them 'see' the value of the abstract number. They are also taught to draw the value as a stick to represent a ten and a counter to represent a one.