Thus, we propose that your government needs to withdraw proposed changes to age ranges, ratios and group sizes. Instead we recommend that the government develop a well-considered road map that begins with a clear vision, goals/objectives, targets and timetables, with regulatory changes as one part of this plan. This would have a better chance for successful policy change. We also call on Ontario to play a positive leadership role with the new federal Liberal government and other provinces/territories in developing the high quality universal integrated ECEC system that so many have been seeking for so long.
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Your government contends that these changes are necessary because they will “increase access”. To the contrary, analyses by public entities and community service providers show that “new” infant rooms with a younger, narrower age range at a very high fee will close and that there will be severe financial and practical effects that affect service viability across age groups.
Otoacoustic emissions are clinically important because they are the basis of a simple, non-invasive test for hearing defects in newborn babies and in children who are too young to cooperate in conventional hearing tests. Many western countries now have national programmes for the universal hearing screening of newborn babies. Periodic early childhood hearing screenings program are also utilizing OAE technology. One excellent example has been demonstrated by the Early Childhood Hearing Outreach Initiative at the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM) at Utah State University, which has helped hundreds of Early Head Start programs across the United States implement OAE screening and follow-up practices in those early childhood educational settings. The primary screening tool is a test for the presence of a click-evoked OAE. Otoacoustic emissions also assist in differential diagnosis of cochlear and higher level hearing losses (e.g., auditory neuropathy).
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