The Capricornian helps launch Hear to Learn program in Rockhampton

Twenty-five Bundara Kindergarten kids were the first to receive free hearing screening in Rockhampton this month, as part of the Hear to Learn program. 

The community led initiative was made possible through program partners Every Child CQ Inc., Hear and Say, Central Queensland Hospital and Health Services (CQHHS), Bundara Kindergarten and The Capricornian.  

Every Child CQ Inc. is providing the backbone support for a Collective Impact initiatives to reduce the number of Rockhampton children, at the age of 5, who are developmentally vulnerable.

While there are many complex factors contributing to development vulnerabilities, Every Child CQ Inc. and Hear and Say (a Brisbane-based world-leading Paediatric Auditory-Verbal and cochlear implant centre), are focusing on children having the ability to hear, as being crucial to learning and to meeting their developmental milestones.

Coordinator (Every Child CQ Inc.) Susie Cameron, explained that hearing difficulties may have a significant impact on a child’s ability to learn. “Children with a hearing loss may experience speech and language delays, educational difficulties, and behavioural problems and often require increased support”, she said.

Hear and Say’s Hear to Learn screening program was officially launched in March 2016 with an aim of identifying children who would benefit from a full diagnostic hearing assessment or medical opinion and to educate parents and others about the impact of hearing issues on a child’s ability to learn and develop.  Over 39,000 children have since had their hearing screened and on average, about 22% on the day of screening, displayed hearing or health issues that required further follow up.

Hearing screening is done in a place familiar and comfortable for the children and is quick, painless and non-invasive. What’s more, it is offered at no cost to families thanks to funding from local organisations like The Capricornian. The community owned Credit Union funded the first round of Hear to Learn screening at Bundara Kindergarten, North Rockhampton. “Every child deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential” said The Capricornian CEO, Dale Grounds. “We’re proud to support the Hear to Learn initiative and I encourage other local organisations to do the same”, he said.

Every Child CQ Inc. and Hear and Say’s partnership strategy seeks to expand the Hear to Learn program in Rockhampton and across Central Queensland.

Information sourced by Every Child CQ Inc https://www.everychildcq.org/ and Hear and Say https://www.hearandsay.com.au/

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