Kite graphic
grandpa and kids outside with kite

Section One Planning headingPREPARATION: TRAINING
Providing people with information about the process will help the staff, carers and participants feel more comfortable and assist the program to run smoothly.

Childcare Staff: Things to cover include the environment they will be in and what to expect, the people they will be interacting with including the elderly and the carers, what will happen in a session, what they can do to help.

Aged Care staff: Encouraging the elderly to come along to a session and see if they enjoy the children's company, bringing the elderly to the sessions, interacting with the child carers and the children, what they can do to help in a session.

The Elderly: Information about what will happen in the sessions and what the expectations of them are will help the elderly feel more comfortable in their role. Encouraging the elderly to participate by role modelling behaviour during the sessions is important.

The Children: To help children understand the limitations of the elderly. Try simulation activities to mimic the experience the elderly may have.

This section helps you to understand and know what to do before implementing your Intergenerational Program. It will give your program a good base point to develop from.
Understanding the people involved

The program that you develop will need to take into consideration the functional level of the participants. There will be limits on what both the elderly and the children can do.

> MORE INFO: List of limitations for the elderly and some ideas to encourage children to interact with the elderly.
The ages of children in a child care centre vary, and they will have different abilities based on their stages of development – some will be more advanced and some less.

Guiding ethics and principles
Worldwide there is much research about Intergenerational Programs. The programs vary widely but have one thing in common: the ethics and principles upon which the program is founded.
> MORE INFO: Detailed set of Intergenerational Best Practices Guiding Principles and Values [word doc]
Program Development
An Intergenerational Program must be designed to take into account all of the participants involved. The main aim of the program is to encourage interaction – the activities are vehicles to achieve this aim.
Aged Care Philosophy
Programs in an aged care facility are person-centred and focus on quality of life. 
There are eleven domains of life which are important in the care of residents in aged care. These are for the elderly to have a sense of safety, security and order, physical comfort, enjoyment, meaningful activity, relationships, functional competence, dignity, privacy, individuality, autonomy and choice, and spiritual well-being. Designing an Intergenerational Program for an aged care setting takes into account all domains. Residents always have the choice about whether they participate.
Childcare Philosophy
A child-centred curriculum offers children the opportunity to make choices about what, how and with whom they want to play. This approach enables children to initiate and direct their own play with the support of interested and responsive adults. In the educational curriculum of child centres, children construct their own knowledge from their experiences and interactions with the world around them. Educators foster children's growth and development by building on children's interests, needs and strengths within a safe and caring environment. An intergenerational session ensures that a child can choose from a variety of activities. The carers need to support the child in their choice and encourage their interactions.
> MORE INFO: Learning through play; Infantilisation; use of existing skills and knowledge;
frequency and flexibility.


Policies and Guidelines

It is important that there are set guidelines and policies in relation to some of the aspects of the Intergenerational Program. These may be raised and discussed in the process of developing your Memorandum of Understanding. Further clarification and direction in relation to these issues should be set out for all people to be able to access and follow.

Promoting the Program

Once the program has been agreed to by all parties, the co-ordinator will need to spend a significant amount of time and energy getting people interested and involved. This includes the residents, the managers and staff of both of the centres, the parent population and the resident's relatives if appropriate.

It is important that the Intergenerational Program is supported from the top down. Managers of both the Aged Care Facility and the Childcare Centre need to be proactive in supporting the program and encouraging commitment to the program from all staff.

Developing a good relationship with all the staff may mean additional referrals to the program. Sometimes the best information may come from the staff who spend a little more time with the resident.


Remember any of the staff working in the facility may develop a close knowledge and understanding of the individual residents. Use all possible sources of information.
• Staff members working in the facility have a good understanding of the residents, their interests and their abilities.
•It is important for the co-ordinator to promote the Intergenerational Program and its benefits to all the staff and encourage them to let you know who might be interested in the program.
DOWNLOAD the complete GUIDE for further information.
© 2012. Based on a formative evaluation of an Intergenerational Care Program conducted by St Michae'ls Collegiate and OneCare Limited
in conjunction with the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation