Construction of Missouri’s first joint day care facility for seniors and children will begin later this year and could open as early as August 2008.
Boone Intergenerational Day Care will allow young children and older adults to interact in a mutual care setting. Intergenerational day care is a relatively new idea, and the Boone County facility will operate under a model developed by a company called ONEgeneration.
Two representatives from ONEgeneration led the Second Annual Stephens College Intergenerational Symposium on Tuesday at Charters Lecture Hall on the Stephens campus. Titled “Intergenerational Curriculum for Children and Adults,” the one-day event focused on planning activities and management of the future facility, which will be built near the corner of William and Walnut streets.
Beth Finney, program coordinator for ONEgeneration, described how older people interact with the children, who will range in age from a few months old to 6 years old. Toddlers and older children work with older people on simple projects such as making toast, using building blocks and making small crafts. Work with infants and newborns is more laid-back and less structured, Finney said.
“In the infant room (older people will) hold babies, sing to babies and give them bottles,” Finney said.
Older people must have some degree of mobility to participate in intergenerational day care programs.
Boone Hospital Center has donated the land for the planned 21,435-foot center. The Boone Hospital Foundation is trying to raise $6 million to fund construction and programming at the facility. To date, the foundation has raised nearly $2.8 million, said Jan Grossman, executive director of Boone Hospital Foundation.
Grossman said the name of the center was talked about quite a bit at Tuesday’s symposium by those who want to distinguish the concept from traditional models of caring for older people.
“One of the reasons we called it ‘Boone Intergenerational Day Care,’” Grossman said, “was to distinguish it from a nursing home.”