"Grandfriends" Program

In 1993, when The Early Learning Center at FIELDHOME opened its doors, there was more to the program than quality child care. The Administration wanted to create a community within the FIELDHOME campus — a unique place where both young and old can enjoy and benefit from each other and a place that felt more like a neighborhood than a “facility.”

Child and ResidentThe Early Learning Center, which cares for 30 children from 6 weeks to five years old, has accomplished this and so much more. The children’s program is woven into the weekly activity calendars of both the Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living/Memory Support programs, offering a comprehensive intergenerational experience for all. Some of the many intergenerational programs include story time, weekly themed activities, visiting, crafts, sing-alongs, holiday parties and special events.

Over the last few years, the Learning Center Director and campus Recreational Therapists at FIELDHOME have become members of the Intergenerational Network, and have received special education and training to further enhance the program.

Maria Rivera, Director of The Early Learning Center at FIELDHOME praises the intergenerational program for its virtually limitless benefits to both the children and the adult population. “Children learn so much from the experience. For example, they acquire a greater understanding of people with varying abilities, and expand their ability to have compassion and patience. As a result, many children form special bonds with their new ‘grandfriends’ and greatly look forward to spending time with them.”

Diana Penna, Administrator for The Seabury at FIELDHOME, adds, “The children from the Early Learning Center bring new life and recollection of past experiences during each visit. The residents and children always bring smiles to each other’s faces—even just a wave can brighten a day.”