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Report calls for more inter-generational care

By Rachel Lawler
 
inter-generational care
Every early years setting should partner with a local older people’s care home or housing scheme, according to a new report from United for Ages.
 
The next generation argues that intergenerational projects can “raise educational attainment, change attitudes, solve tough issues and shape the future”.
 
The report makes eight key recommendations for practitioners and policy makers, including the suggesting that every nursery, childminder, children’s centre and baby and toddler group partners with a local older people’s care home, and vice versa.
 
Benefits for young and old
The report also says that children involved in intergenerational projects “have better reading and communication skills” and are more “school ready”.
 
Intergenerational projects may also help to “solve some of the tough issues facing the next generation” according to the report. It says this includes reducing crime and promoting social mobility.
 
The report also calls for schools to engage with older people in their communities and asks local authorities to work to build communities for people of all ages.
 
A good start
Stephen Burke, director of United for All Ages, said: “Research shows that there are lasting benefits of a good start in life. Given the concerns around social mobility, closing the attainment gap, improving school readiness and developing young children’s language and literacy skills, intergenerational action could and must make a much bigger contribution to this agenda.”
 
Learning through play
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance, commented: “So far, the majority of the discussion around intergenerational projects has focused on what it means for the older people involved and that has meant the impact on child participants is sometimes over looked.
 
“Interacting with older people provides children with unique learning opportunities; that could mean the chance to take on the responsibility of ‘looking after’ an older person or to learn from someone who has experienced and overcome challenges.
 
“We should always be looking for opportunities to learn through play, experience and sharing stories should be prized, however, it comes about – but there’s something particularly worth cherishing when it comes to two generations at different stages of life.”
 
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