You're probably familiar with the concept of a Childcare Center - a place where children spend the day learning and playing in a structured setting with teachers to look after them. And an Adult Day Program is much the same - it is a place where adults (usually seniors) spend their day socializing in a structured setting with staff to look after them. An Intergenerational Daycare combines those two groups in a shared setting...and, frankly, we create a little magic and a lot of joy every day!
At Gentog we have 3 separate suites of rooms. When you enter our doors, you'll find yourself in the Family Room, where the intergenerational activities generally happen. To your left you'll find the door to the Childcare Suite. To your right you'll find the path to the Senior Suite.
Our two programs are complete and wonderful in and of themselves. Our children enjoy a full day of learning and playing in classes geared to their age and abilities. Our seniors enjoy a full day of socializing and enjoying activities geared to their cognitive and physical abilities. Two or three times a day we bring a small group of children and a small group of seniors to the family room to enjoy 20 minutes together playing, singing, reading, exercising, or crafting. Those minutes are golden and special. At the end of the allotted time, they each return to their own spaces. Because we keep the groups fairly small and the activities are well planned and supervised, they are almost always fun and successful for everyone involved.
Throughout the day we also have opportunities for informal interactions - as families come and go through the family room, they often meet and greet each other. When the weather cooperates and we are able to spend time outside, seniors can spend as much time as they'd like sitting and watching the children playing on their gated playground. What fun the seniors have watching the children, and what fun the children have playing for an audience. You know how often a child will call out "Watch me!" In this setting there is ALWAYS someone there to watch and cheer and laugh. When the weather is too cold (or too hot) for the seniors to be outside safely, the children can often still go out to play...and their play areas are right outside our Senior Suite, so the seniors can spend time watching the play from the comfort of their easy chairs.
We cherish the times we bring the generations together...and so do they. We believe that generations belong together....and it happens EVERY DAY at Gentog!!