Daycare headed to Oak Park Arms

Intergenerational program blends toddlers and elders

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

A new daycare program is set to open at the Oak Park Arms senior living facility, 408 S. Oak Park Ave., giving dozens of toddlers, ages 3 to 5, exposure to elderly residents at the senior living facility.

The daycare was approved as a special use by the Oak Park village board at its Nov. 19 board meeting.

Daycare organizers Jaime Moran and Pamela Lawrence will lease two classroom spaces at the facility, giving the two generations the opportunity to spend time together on structured activities, according to their application.

The daycare will operate at a capacity of about 80 children in two sessions on weekdays.

Moran ensured trustees that the Oak Park Arms management is requiring all children be up to date on their vaccinations and that every child has a flu shot to prevent spreading illnesses to the residents.

She said that an outbreak of any kind at the facility would result in a temporary shutdown of the daycare program.

"We have a sick plan where if they have a symptom, they cannot come back for 24 hours," she said.

Trustee Deno Andrews applauded the program, noting that there is a "long history" of these kinds of intergenerational programs in Europe.

"I know that (the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services) has very stringent health and safety laws, and I feel comfortable that with those being followed everybody will be safe," he said.

Trustee Simone Boutet added that the concept has an "awesome social and emotional benefit."

"As we people get older it brings joy to the seniors; I think it's fantastic," she said.

tim@oakpark.com

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