UPDATE – This program is currently postponed.
The benefits of Inter-generational Care Programs have been well researched and featured in the media, as they enable children to learn from, and connect with, an older generation. This interaction helps improve children’s behaviour and attitudes towards older people, and builds an overall sense of well-being for both young and old participants.
Last year Ohana organised an outbound visit to an aged care facility from our North Boambee centre, the outcome of which proved very successful. From this we looked at how we could improve on the experience, with the aim of then implementing the program across all our centres.
From April this year onwards, Ohana will be running monthly bus-based visits to local aged care facilities from all our centres. We will be funding and hiring a bus to take ten preschool aged children on each visit, and purchasing enough booster and harness-based child seats to make the journey safe. Each centre will provide more information on this program once they finalise the dates of the scheduled visits.
We anticipate this program to run until November, and will rotate the days each month so we can provide the best opportunity for all our preschoolers to be involved. In fact, the program is designed to support all age groups from the nursery, to the toddlers and preschoolers.
In return, we will be inviting the older generation to visit our centres to work with our educators and help support our children’s reading and gardening activities. We welcome participation from grandparents, friends of families, or just people wanting to connect with the younger generation.
To participate, we will need to ensure all volunteer adults are eligible holders of the ‘working with children check’. This check is free for volunteers and is available from the RMS Service Centre, or you can apply online here – https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-working-children-check
Look out for the booking system on our website as a way for all families to promote the program to their immediate family and friends. There will be more to come in the coming weeks on how and what will be needed to be part of this program.
We found the Grandparents Day held late last year provided an excellent experience for all involved, and was something the children talked about for weeks.
We believe the outcomes achieved for both the children at our centres and the participants will be something remembered for years to come.