Stephen Burke, Director, United for All Ages
of care homes are now linking with local nurseries and primary schools.
Intuitively they recognise the benefits for older people and children.
Having seen media coverage, they think it’s the right thing to do. Other
care homes have taken it a step further and are sharing their site with
a nursery, childminder or parent and toddler group.
There are five very good reasons for all care homes to build on these links.
age segregation: mixing matters in creating meaningful connections
between people of different ages; it can help build a real understanding
of the social and economic issues that other generations face at a time
when Britain is one of the most age segregated countries in the world;
bringing older and younger people together can create stronger
communities, uniting rather than dividing our society.
quality of life: older residents experience more activities, less
isolation and loneliness, and better physical and mental health;
children experience enhanced early learning and social development,
giving them confidence; parents can mix with people of all ages and work
knowing their children have good childcare; relatives and families of
older people benefit from their increased interaction and better health;
all round these benefits improve the quality of life of everyone
- Creating a USP: providers of
eldercare linking with childcare have a USP, reduced costs and happier
clients; those involved can share experiences, activities, learning and
mutual understanding; the wider community has a centre for all ages they
can use and share locally; marketing across generations can reach
different parts of the same family whose care needs will change over
time from childcare to eldercare; pioneers of co-located care have
created a special offer or USP to families needing care.
costs, supporting staff: for care providers, the economic benefits of
co-location include sharing back office costs from maintenance and
catering to IT and HR to training and management; sharing skills and
learning of staff with opportunities to grow and develop staff; boosting
recruitment and retention of staff: one of the biggest issues for many
providers, co-location provides opportunities for staff to undertake new
challenges in different settings; staff of both providers have more
interesting opportunities as well as access to childcare support if they
- Growing demand – our ageing
population means a growing demand for care which will help businesses
become more sustainable, while demand for childcare grows as more
parents work; providing community facilities as a co-located or shared
site will become a magnet at the centre of communities and be in demand
from others looking for space, activities etc
benefits have been realised by care providers in other countries – from
the USA, Canada and Australia to Japan, Singapore and elsewhere in
Europe. The UK is catching up, and more evaluation of these benefits is
being undertaken with the growing number of care-home nurseries and
other similar schemes emerging in the UK.
More information can be found at: www.unitedforallages.com