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What is intergenerational interaction

MEN Article: Care home residents hail nursery for making them ‘feel alive again’

What is intergenerational practice?

Intergenerational practice is the bringing together of the old and young to take part in meaningful, positive activities to promote a greater understanding and respect between the generations. Thousands of schools, nurseries, and care homes have adopted such programmes to due to the benefits for both generations outlined in the Channel 4 programme ‘Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds’ released in 2017.

There’s increasing evidence that if you put services for old people and services for very young people together that you get a better outcome for all of them.” – Matt Hancock, 2018

“Investment should be made in intergenerational contact interventions, which aim to foster interaction between people of different generations” World Health Organisation

Fernbees is one of the only nurseries in the UK to be situated on the grounds of a care home with unrivalled possibilities for intergenerational practice.

How will intergenerational practice benefit my child?

Outside of family life, most people do not have regular interaction with individuals from other generations, however, studies by major organisations find that interaction with the elderly has the potential to improve the long-term physical, cognitive, and emotional development of children and significantly impact the physical and emotional wellbeing of the older generation.

The first few years of a child’s life are key to their learning and are fundamental to later life. Generations Working Together, a charity focusing on the promotion of intergenerational activity in Scotland, have found that intergenerational practice is an excellent way for young children to build key social skills.

Self Esteem and Confidence

Children show increased confidence and willingness to try new things after spending time in an intergenerational programme.

Kindness and Empathy

Kindness, integrity, and empathy are key values for children to develop in order to succeed in later life and intergenerational practice is an excellent way to help build these values. Our lives are shaped by the people we meet, and the interactions we have. Exposure to different people with different ability levels enables an understanding of being kind and helping others to be developed from a young age. With residents at Fernlea being a part of children’s daily lives, matters such as aging, disability, and health conditions become less ‘alien’ or ‘scary’ and can be the starting point for strong bonds to be formed between the generations.

Language and Comunication

Interaction with the elderly offers unique opportunities for children to develop their communication skills. With retired teachers, police officers, doctors, and more, the residents at Fernlea all have stories to tell! By interacting with the elderly, children are able to explore new perspectives and language grounded in the real world experiences held by the older generation. This exposure to new ideas, perspectives, and stories has been proven to improve children’s language, vocabulary, and communication skills

Our Intergenerational Newsletter

For more information on intergenerational practice have a look at these resources:

Making the Case : Generations United
The Next Generation: United for All Ages
Old People’s Home for Four Year Olds short video: Channel 4
Mixing Matters : United for All Ages

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What the parents say...

We've seen some brilliant changes in our son since he started at Fernbees just a short while ago - especially in his confidence and speech. Even though he only goes two days a week, the staff treat him like one of their own. They're patient, fully child led and some of the kindest people you'll ever meet. Even though our son can be super shy and anxious, they take the time to support him through everything, they put a lot of effort into making sure he feels safe and secure with them. He has so much fun during his two days there and always gets giddy when we tell him it's a Fernbees day. We couldn't be happier with Fernbees and hugely recommend them!!

Honey Bees Parent

The level of care, interest and engagement from the staff towards our son is fantastic, he's thriving in this excellent setting.

Baby Bees Parent

Our daughter has just started at Fernbees - she’s settled in so well. It fills my heart when you pick her up and the manager is giving her big cuddles. She is already so loved, cared for and entertained in such a wonderful setting with a super team

Honey Bees Parent

Our little boy has come on leaps and bounds since starting at Fernbees. The staff have taken the time to really get to know my little boy and all his little ways. When I go to pick my little boy up and I see him through the glass doors just playing happily his face is alway beaming with a smile. We are so happy with our choice of nursery for our little boy, I would always recommend Fernbees

Baby Bees Parent

The environment is amazing for learning and development, they do a large variety of activities over the day including lots of outdoor time and use of the interactive station. The staff are so lovely and I can already see my little boy making lovely relationships with them all. The staff have all taken time to get to know him very well.

Baby Bees Parent