Multi-generation centres offer a sure start for children


One way to bridge the generation gap (Opinion, 5 September) is in the care of small children. If New Labour’s finest creation, Sure Start, is ever to be restored, this would be a perfect opportunity to include in children’s centres – alongside parents and infants – people of all ages from teens to the elderly. Of course there would need to be safeguards against abuse of children. But collective care would recreate the conditions in which our compulsively social species evolved over hundreds of millennia before settled agricultural societies were established. The anthropologist of childhood Sarah Blaffer Hrdy wrote recently: “Infants with several attachment figures grow up better able to integrate multiple mental perspectives.” Creating daytime local communities around children would reduce loneliness and promote a healthy socialism.
Dr Sebastian Kraemer


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