Their values and ambition for the highest quality of provision and care go hand in hand with ours and we are excited to be working with them to develop integrated approaches that benefit children, older people and their families. We are thinking about the common features of outstanding care and learning across the life course.
Our most recent project is the development of a fully integrated intergenerational nursery and learning centre in partnership with the multi-award winning Belong Care Villages. Belong is a charity that is deeply committed to relational care, noticing, listening and responding to the needs of older people.
'Wherever there are beginners and experts, old and young, there is some kind of learning going on, some kind of teaching. We are all pupils and we are all teachers.'
A shared model to transform health, learning and human potential for young children and older people
Human beings are social creatures. Our lives and potential are improved by the quantity and quality of our relationships and interactions with others. A community that fosters these interactions by creating a meaningful and purposeful living and learning environment for all will have significant impact.
At the heart of our integrated model is belief in the right of every child and older person to physical and mental health and well-being alongside opportunities to learn and participate in meaningful experiences and nurturing relationships.
Essential to this vision is support for both young children and older adults to thrive through the provision of consistently high quality environments both in and outdoors.
Why this is important. The early years in a child’s life are a period of enhanced susceptibility to environmental influences, laying the foundation for health, wellbeing, learning and productivity throughout the life course and into the next generation. For older people, they too want to learn, feel a sense of purpose and engage in joyful experiences and relationships for as long as possible.
Building from shared principles. We have worked closely with all stakeholders to develop a set of shared principles that drive our intergenerational work.
The benefits for children:
- an innovative pedagogical model for improving developmental and learning outcomes for young children
- a holistic model of child well-being and education that recognises the additional value of relational experiences and involvement across the life course but also of the common mental health, nutrition, and opportunities for learning across both the young and elderly
- the comfort of security and routines that involve and engage the wider community through family support, integrated learning programmes, shared experiences and other innovative service provision.
- the development of strong social capital within a local community with focus given to achieving social cohesion and encouraging positive, reciprocal relationships between the very young, the elderly and their families.
- opportunity to build culturally and contextually sensitive evaluative research on nurturing care for both age groups which will be vital to inform practice and policy in intergenerational contexts.