On-site child care adds energy and spontaneity to Ohio Living Breckenridge Village
Posted on January 24, 2020 in Active Aging, Caregiving, Community Care, Health and Wellness
Once a week, a gaggle of happy toddlers visit memory care residents at Ohio Living Breckenridge Village. The residents completely light up when the children enter the room. Unafraid, the little ones eagerly chatter with these “grandmas” and “grandpas” who have become part of their extended families.
This weekly occurrence is thanks to the Clapp Children’s Center on the campus of Ohio Living Breckenridge Village. This on-site child care center serves 40 children from ages 6 weeks to Kindergarten enrollment. Mostly serving the children of employees, a sliding fee scale offers 10% to 40% discounts to employees based on their pay.
Daily interaction between the children and the residents is commonplace in this community model that brings the two generations together. Once a week the children visit residents in long-term nursing care, memory care, or assisted living. They are also involved in activities and events with residents living independently throughout the campus. As a result, the children become attune to other generations.
That’s exactly what Ohio Living Breckenridge Village is trying to achieve. In addition to its child development curriculum the Clapp Children’s Center’s goals include increasing awareness and understanding of aging as a normal life process, teaching compassion and acceptance of others, and providing meaningful interactions with older adults from diverse backgrounds.
The children are often invited to participate in resident activities like art and music therapy. The impact is easy to see. Participating together is calming for both groups, and they find comfort in one another. They’ve even performed partner yoga with each other.
Unsurprisingly, the residents become informal teachers during their interactions with the children. The children learn through nature, activities, stories, and more. They go for walks with residents on campus trails. Residents share their gardens with the children, who sometimes get to taste a fresh tomato.
During Christmas season the children visit resident coffee hours and present skits and songs. They watch movies in the Lubrizol Theater on campus, enjoying cookies, popcorn and punch. There’s a Halloween Parade with residents, staff and the kids all in costume. The children are also involved in special campus activities like the Soap Box Derby, 4th of July parade, and veterans’ events.
The Clapp Children’s’ Center was created by generous donors, and residents continue to support the center today. In 1997, supporters Anne and Roger Clapp made a charitable gift to establish the Clapp Children’s Center. They believed that this center would help to recruit and retain employees by offering quality childcare on a sliding fee scale.
Recognizing that this sliding fee scale would not completely cover the operating expenses of the children’s center, the Clapps chose to endow the center in 1998. And in 2008, Anne made an additional endowment gift, ensuring the sustainability of the center long into the future.
Today, generous residents continue to support the Clapp Children’s Center through their time, volunteer talent, and charitable donations. Notably, when regulations against dropdown crib panels were established, residents in the woodshop turned them into writing desks. Most recently, woodshop volunteers have been making toys – cars and trucks – for the children at Clapp and other area daycare centers. Donors have recently funded a full renovation of the playground.
The presence of the Clapp Children’s Center creates a synergy on campus that comes full circle — benefiting residents, employees, and the children it serves.
For more information, call 440.942.4342, ext. 1388, or contact us through ohioliving.org.
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