Ashe Services for Aging's Mission is to provide services, intergenerational activities, and opportunities to the elderly and disabled adults of Ashe County that enhance their dignity and help them maintain their independence at home.

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Generations Child Development Center

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The mission of Generations Developmental Day Center is to provide an inclusive, intergenerational, developmentally enhancing environment for children that recognizes and fosters each child's potential, respects the diversity of families, supports family members in their multiple roles, and values family involvement.


Program Description:



Generations is developmental day center that is licensed by the Division of Child Development and certified to provide developmental day services to children with special needs and their families. It is operated by Ashe Services for Aging, Inc., a private, non-profit agency that provides a variety of services for senior adults, adults with disabilities, and children with typical development and those with disabilities.


The center is co-located with Ashe Services for Aging in West Jefferson and offers intergenerational experiences for children through informal visits and joint activities with adult day center participants and informal and planned interactions with adults visiting the senior center.


Days and Hours of Operation: Operating hours are from 7am to 5:30pm Monday – Friday throughout the year. The school calendar includes center closings for holidays, teacher workdays, and seasonal breaks.



The program is staffed by a Director, Lead & Assistant Teachers, and Foster Grandparents. Teaching and administrative staff have formal training in early childhood education including Masters' degrees, Bachelors' degrees, Associates degrees, and diplomas. In addition, some staff members have Infant/Toddler Family Specialist and Associate Certifications.


In addition to the staff, volunteers are encouraged, and students from the high school, community college, and university are invited to gain experience in our program. Also, Generations serves as a site for student teachers, cooperative education students, and practicum students to gain experience working with young children. Finally, professionals such as therapists, trainers that work with teachers, community artists, and others are in our program from time to time.




Children and Learning


At Generations, we believe that the primary tasks of childhood are


  • To develop the abilities to respect and communicate with a variety of people of different ages, ethnicities, races, and abilities
  • To value and respect their physical environment
  • To discover their strengths and talents (their preferred "languages" from among hundreds), and
  • To develop critical thinking skills through supported play experiences in a prepared environment.




Generations is a family-centered program. It is our goal to provide children with a safe and healthy environment, full of enriching educational opportunities. A core part of our services to children centers on our development of relationships with families.


In our work with families and their children, we strive to meet the following outcomes:


  • Families are informed.
  • Families choose their child's child development goals.
  • Families choose their goals.
  • Families are satisfied with their services.
  • Families are satisfied with their life situations.
  • Families choose services and supports.
  • Families have economic resources.
  • Families remain together.
  • Children spend time in inclusive environments.
  • Children develop relationships.
  • Families are a part of their communities.
  • Families attain their goals.
  • Children attain their developmental milestones.
  • Families remain connected to natural supports.
  • Children are safe.
  • Families exercise rights.
  • Families are respected.
  • Children have the best possible health.
  • Children are free from abuse and neglect.
  • Families experience continuity and security.




Staff responsibilities are to provide a well-prepared environment where children are encouraged to explore interesting materials, to ask questions, to make predictions, to test theories, to be wrong, and to have the self confidence to try again. We believe that children learn best through supported, hands-on experiences.


We believe that staff should:


Be life-long learners alongside of children, always striving to understand the world and each other better. View themselves as researchers of children's learning, always observing, reflecting, and evolving our teaching strategies, skills, materials, approaches, etc.


Intergenerational Opportunities:


Generations has the unique opportunity to foster acceptance of diversity, tolerance of difference, appreciation of the life span, and the development of relationships between young children and adults of varying ages and abilities. In striving to capitalize on this opportunity, each group of children is offered opportunities to participate in planned and informal intergenerational activities with the senior center and adult day center. Interactions are always the child's and adult's mutual choice, and the degree to which each chooses to participate is always at their individual discretion.


Natural Environments and the Therapist-Parent-Teacher Relationship


Therapists and other service providers are encouraged to work with children in their natural environments when possible. This means that therapies and other services should be provided in the classroom or outdoors within the context of existing activities. Therapists are expected to communicate regularly with classroom staff and parents and demonstrate their investment in collaboration.


Services Offered:


  • A developmentally enhancing indoor and outdoor learning environment for children
  • Monitoring of children's developmental progress through portfolio assessment
  • On-site speech, physical, and occupational therapies
  • On-site and outreach Community-Based Rehabilitation Services
  • Collaborative programming with the More at Four program
  • Community experiences through field trips
  • Exposure to diversity through intergenerational activities
  • Family service coordination and referrals to other community services
  • A variety of parent involvement opportunities
  • Parenting education and support opportunities


Classroom Expectations:


Interest Centers and Project Work


We believe that young children learn best through play. Therefore, center-based play is an integral part of each child's day. All children are afforded a significant portion of each day to freely explore well-prepared interest centers. Teachers are engaged in observation of interests and development, facilitating appropriate use of materials, and supporting social interactions.


Emergent Curriculum and Documentation of Daily Plans


Daily activity plans reflect teachers' observations of children's dynamic, emergent interests. These plans incorporate art, music, literature, blocks, manipulatives, dramatic play, science, and sensory play experiences and build on existing individual and group interests.


Daily Schedules


Each classroom staff develops their own daily schedules based on the needs of children in their classrooms at any given time. Daily schedules reflect a balance between quiet and active play and indoor and outdoor play. It is flexible, developmentally appropriate, designed to minimize the number of transitions and the amount of time children have to wait, and based on current understandings of best practices in early childhood education.


Admission Requirements and Enrollment:


Children ages birth to 5 years of age are enrolled based on availability. A waiting list is maintained and openings are filled based on the age of the child and the amount of time spent on the waiting list. Children with special needs, siblings of currently enrolled children, and More at Four eligible children are offered priority in that order.


Fees and Payment Options:


Tuition payments are accepted from a variety of sources including private payments, child care subsidy, pell grant allocations, community college stipends, displaced worker stipends, foster care support funds, and more.


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