MPs back co-location of nurseries and care

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An interim report from the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Integration has called for nurseries to co-locate with care homes to encourage better relationships between generations.

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The ‘Healing the Generational Divide’ report examined the extent of the current gap between older and younger people, and what could be done to bridge it.

Recommendations under four main policy areas – community projects and initiatives, public services, housing and planning, and technology – included a call for all nurseries, schools and care homes to foster connections between the different generations that use their facilities and, where possible, to co-locate services on one site.

The APPG also suggested that the Government explore a small tax break for people who commit to a set number of hours per month volunteering at a nursery, school or care home.

The interim report marks the half-way point in the APPG’s inquiry into intergenerational connections, with the final report due to be published at the end of the year.

Chair of the APPG, Chuka Umunna, said, ‘We all know that Brexit has been incredibly divisive but what we have seen over the course of this inquiry suggests that generational division extends far beyond the realm of politics, into our daily lives.

‘This report sets out the beginnings of a framework where local, regional and national government can work together to foster stronger connections between generations. Now, more than ever, we need to act to bring our country back together and move forward as one. That’s why it’s vital we keep talking about what is happening in our society, try to understand why and find solutions that will help heal the generational divide.’

INTERGENERATIONAL SITES

Meanwhile, plans for more intergenerational nursery sites have gathered pace.

Fife Council in Scotland is proposing to co-locate a care home and a nursery in Methil next year.

A new 36-bed residential home and 39-place nursery will offer shared spaces for a café, activities and events and a village green where all ages can mix.

The £10.6million proposal includes 35 additional bungalows for those who want to live independently but use the facilities available on the site.

In Cheshire, a proposed three-storey extension to Lostock Lodge in Cheshire Business Park will create 22 new bedrooms in the care home and house a new nursery.

A planning statement said residents living or working near the development would appreciate a more convenient nursery.

stephen-burke-oct-2013Stephen Burke (pictured), director of social enterprise United for All Ages, said, ‘Every week we come across examples of new developments where childcare providers and eldercare providers are co-locating and supporting intergenerational interaction.

‘It’s a win-win for older and younger people but also for the staff involved. As demand for childcare and eldercare grows, we expect to see many more pioneering providers follow suit. Our target is for 500 centres for all ages to be created across the UK by 2023 and we are well on the way to meeting that challenge.’

  • United for All Ages will be encouraging intergenerational connections throughout August as part of its #AllAgesAugust celebration. The organisation is asking any settings planning intergenerational activities in August to share their events using the hashtag #AllAgesAugust.
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