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Hundreds of Families Wait to Enroll Children in Intergenerational Preschool

Hundreds of Families Wait to Enroll Children in Intergenerational Preschool

Providence Mount St. Vincent in Seattle, WA has made headlines time and time again for doing something that many think is a great idea- combing child and elderly care.

Known as “The Mount,” the facility doubles as both a nursing home and an early education center where 125 children share the facility with staff and elderly residents that call the 300,000 square-foot residence home, according to The Atlantic.

"Five days a week, residents and staff share the 300,000 square-foot facility with up to 125 children, ages zero to five. These children and their teachers make up the Mount’s Intergenerational Learning Center (ILC), a licensed nonprofit child-care center and preschool established on the Mount’s premises in 1991,” the article says.

The building provides with its young and old residents intergenerational experiences that is setting social media ablaze and inspiring other programs throughout the nation to try it out.

But according to The Atlantic, some experts wonder if the rigidity of the care needed to accommodate the needs of both the young and the old is able to afford either with the chance to make meaningful relationships.

“While [geriatrician Bill] applauds the efforts of the Mount and other institutions experimenting with these types of programs, he says more opportunities for meaningful engagement and reciprocity are needed to reach that next level,” The Atlantic says.

Matt Kaplan, professor of intergenerational programs and aging at Pennsylvania State University, told The Atlantic that nursing home policies and regulation are too rigid to allow for meaningful, organic relationships to develop between the elderly and the young.

Either way, the article says the Mount has about 400 families on the Intergenerational Learning Center’s waiting list. Despite some doubt, families are definitely willing to try it out.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

1/25/2016

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