4 April 2019 News
Intergenerational care will be central in the future plans for Malone Kindergarten when it moves to a new site within the Kings Hall Health and Wellbeing Park.
As one of the most progressive early years’ centres in Northern Ireland, it plans to organise visits between children at the school and elderly residents who will be living within the site to maximise the benefits for both after the move.
Alison Madill, the founder of Malone Kindergarten, said her vison for the centre and that of the Kings Hall Health and Wellbeing Park (KHHWP) fit perfectly.
“We have set out a four-year plan – Vision 2022 - to further develop our Kindergarten preschool education model which centres on continuing to grow our position in the local community as an innovative, multi-cultural centre of excellence. One of the central planks to that vision is to establish close links with the new facilities for older people on the site to offer mutual psychological benefits and learning experiences for young and old alike.
“This was something I wanted to do before even being made aware of the plans for the site so to see we have a shared vision is a big bonus.”
The kindergarten has already dipped its toe into intergenerational care by holding Grandparent Days where grandparents come and tell stories of their school days.
Its other plans include building on its reputation as a leading early years setting for supporting children with special educational needs through the development of a dedicated family wellbeing and SEN Support Service. This includes the delivery of a special needs playschool, social group interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders and providing a therapeutic environment to promote innovative multi-agency working with educational psychology and allied health professionals.
The nursery, housed in Scandinavian style purpose-built facilities in touch with nature, bases its care on the Reggio Emilia Kindergarten-style approach to provide the highest-quality stimulating experiences to develop the ‘whole child.’
The park will be a benchmark for the future of healthcare by delivering a range of integrated and onsite health, community and leisure facilities including care for those later in life, gym, restaurants and a hotel.
David Burrows, Director at Benmore Octopus, said: “Having Malone Kindergarten as part of the Kings Hall Health and Wellbeing Centre is a great fit for the scheme and will allow one of the most unique nursery schools in Northern Ireland to expand further. Alison’s business is held in the highest esteem by parents, not just in the vicinity but those who travel from further afield so its expansion will be welcome.”
Benmore Octopus is a joint venture between Benmore Group and Octopus Healthcare.
Benmore Group is an award-winning, Northern Ireland-based investment and development business specialising in urban regeneration projects across the property sectors.
Octopus Healthcare, part of the Octopus Group, is a leading UK healthcare property investor, developer and manager of healthcare properties. Octopus Healthcare invests in and develops properties as well as creating partnerships to deliver innovative healthcare facilities to improve the health and wellbeing of the UK.
David Burrows, Director at Benmore Octopus.