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This preliminary study will help fill the void with very promising findings. It does appear that program costs are less when older adult, youth and child services share expenses. In particular, the study found personnel costs were significantly less in intergenerational shared site care facilities. This finding is even more profound given personnel costs often make up more than 30% of the program’s budget and is contrary to the belief that these programs will require additional staff. The study also found that the sites often experienced cost savings in the area of rent. They were able to meet the square footage requirements for licensure with fewer feet which meant less money going towards rent. Given the large dollar amount some programs pay for rent, sometimes up to half a program’s budget, this finding could have serious implications.
In the end, the findings indicate that the more integrated the intergenerational programming, the more likely they are to experience cost savings. Rather than simply sharing space, sharing expenses lowered the program costs. While this study honed in on shared care facilities, it demonstrates the promise of all types of intergenerational shared site programs. In the future we plan to delve more deeply into building the research foundation that encourage cities, counties and neighborhoods to use resources more wisely to connect generations rather than separate them.