Reports Provide Insight Into Big Canadian Problems: Learning Disabilities & ECE in the News

j0402587.jpgA very interesting day on the human development research front in Canada. Today CTV reports on the release of a new report from the OECD which,

” ranks Canada last when it comes to funding early childhood development among the 30 countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. The OECD includes most of Europe, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Mexico.”

Canada spends 0.25 % of its GDP on early childhood programs in comparison to other developed countries that spend up to 2%.

CanWest reports on the other piece of this important story; a brand new study from the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada. I thought it was extra interesting because it quotes Linda Siegel from UBC and I just referenced some of her thoughts in my Reading Curriculum post this weekend. Canwest quotes Fran Thompson, past president of the B.C. branch of the International Dyslexia Association,

“There has been a great deal of research that shows screening in kindergarten can accurately predict whether or not a child will have future reading disabilities. The key is we can predict their troubles and help them before they fail.”

This got me to thinking that the connections between these two studies are really apparent when you view the latest, November 2006, Statistics Canada report on “Readiness to learn at school among five year old children in Canada”, which

” determined differences in readiness to learn that were found at age 5 between girls and boys, and between children with different household income levels, were already apparent two years earlier”

The research confirms information found in another brand new study released today by the Council For Early Childhood Development indicating

“experience-based brain development in the early years of life sets neurological and biological pathways that affect lifelong health, learning, and behaviour”

By providing high quality early childhood experiences that offer opportunities for early screeing and intervention for learning disabilities, developmental and learning delays, we can increase readiness to learn in children at school entry.

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