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The quality of child care in New York will nose-dive if a state agency's proposal meant to simplify rules is adopted, people who work with children testified at a state Assembly hearing.

"The standards in New York are being lowered, watered down, all for the sake of providing more business opportunities and more child care," said Elaine T. Bartkowiak, associate director of the Early Childhood Research Center at the University at Buffalo.

The plan would eliminate the minimum age for infants; reduce the educational requirements for child care center director; and increase the licensing from the current two years to five years.

Under current regulations, infants must be at least 6 weeks old to be placed in day care.

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