Older adult woman exchanges laugh with middle school child in classroom.

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Shared Spaces Policy

What are Shared Sites?
Intergenerational shared sites are settings where children, youth and older adults participate in services and/or programs concurrently at the same site or on the same campus.  Participants interact during regularly planned intergenerational activities, as well as through informal encounters. These programs and facilities go by different names, including intergenerational spaces, centers, care/day care, etc. 

Common Shared Site Models

  • Adult day care & child care program housed in the same facility
  • Senior center located in a school
  • After school programs held at a senior center
  • Child care in a long term care facility
  • Head Start program in a nursing home
  • Community center with programs for both generations

The use of space by multiple generations not only makes common sense, but can be an important solution in helping communities and organizations stretch scarce resources.  While the number of shared sites across the U.S. is increasing, their benefits are not widely known to policymakers.

Unfortunately public policies often create barriers that delay or prevent the creation of shared sites because of issues regarding funding streams, zoning, or regulatory requirements.  Currently many regulations and funding streams are designed assuming each facility and program serves a specific generation. Programs that try to expand services to more than one generation often must navigate and/or reconcile a range of rules and regulations necessary to access funding streams.  A national study evaluating shared sites and efforts that provide opportunities to create and sustain intergenerational shared sites should be conducted.

View our interactive map to locate shared site in your state.
Download our toolkit to learn how to schedule a site visit with your Members of Congress.
To find out more about intergenerational shared sites and programs, visit our Shared Sites page.
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