What is Intergenerational Child Care?
There is nothing quite like watching a child’s eyes fill with wonder or an elder’s face light up with joy. At Riley Crossing Child Care and Senior Campus, we are lucky to experience both each and every day. Our child care philosophy is learning through play and exploration. We offer a unique program that brings multiple generations together in a stimulating environment. As children and older adults share memories, play games and create together, an unmistakable bond forms that transcends generations. For children who do not live near their own grandparents, these connections can be especially poignant and meaningful. Learning alongside seniors will help children see beyond their own small worlds. They’ll understand more about life and discover many similarities between themselves and their “Grandfriends”. This understanding and love will lay a foundation for celebrating diversity, a skill that they will use throughout their lives.
Our Campus has been designed to give daily opportunities to interact and build friendships through our staff-supervised activities. Intergenerational activities include: read-a-long time, gardening, bingo, hi-tech science program, MacPhail lifelong learning music program, special events for families to get to know our Grandfriends, but most of all the daily interactions of friendship building through walks around our senior campus, inclusion in the weekly programs for entertainment and special meals together.
What Happens When Old and Young Connect?
When older and younger generations form meaningful relationships, it improves both groups’ well-being. Riley Crossing relationships help our children develop key non-cognitive characteristics such as self-discipline, academic motivation, social empathy and effectively regulating emotions. Our classrooms feel like a warm, pleasant place to be with many instances of enthusiasm, laughter and smiling with our children and Grandfriends. Through role modeling, our young friends develop key respect skills for listening to each other, feeling confident in speaking and learning to share their feelings in healthy ways. These are all key leadership skills our Riley Crossing children are learning at an early age.