As part of our ongoing connections and partnerships with the community, Pioneer Road Long Day Care has partnered with The Illawarra Diggers Retirement Village to build on integrational care with our children and their residents.
The aim of the initiative is simple, it is to get our children out into the community and to increase their social skills through interacting with people they might not normally see in everyday life.
Society often undervalues older people, believing that they no longer have anything to offer in their later years. However, contrary to that, they can in fact be a great resource when it comes to caring and educating young children.
Older people in retirement or in aged care, have so much extra time and still have skills that are often under-utilised. Many of them have children themselves, so caring for children gives them a sense of nostalgia.
We take a group of Preschool Room children to the retirement village where they can go about their normal indoor routine of taking part in specific group time activities which have been planned to provide opportunities for both the residents and children to interact, build relationships, and to promote wonder, curiosity and joy for all involved.
It is in these activities that the children develop their sense of belonging to groups and communities and begin to develop their understanding of reciprocal relationships as well as respecting differences amongst people. The benefits of these interactions prove to be priceless when you see the joy on every-ones faces.
The children ask the residence about their past and life experiences and this builds on their own ideas of life and this raises many interesting questions.
This wonderful opportunity will continue to grow and develop as the years go on and will provide us with lots of discussion points and learning experiences along the way.