The New Old Age column in the NYT ran a good article on intergenerational programming where adult day and child day care are combined. It speaks mostly to the benefits to elders. Yet there are great benefits to our youth.
The Harvard School of Public Health-Met Life Foundation Initiative on Retirement and Civil Engagement had this to say about intergenerational programs:
“Community based initiatives that bridge the generations … build community by integrating the old with the young, transmitting knowledge and experience to future generations and reinforcing the value of people of all ages. Studies have found that young people in such programs show measurable improvements in school attendance, attitudes toward school and the future, and attitudes toward elders. Adult volunteers report substantial benefits to themselves: the satisfaction of sharing their experience, feeling useful. And giving back to the community.”
So don’t discount the benefit both ways.
We need more programs like this.