Past. The Janie Porter Barrett Day Nursery first opened its doors in the Fall of 1935 under the Works Progress Administration. The preschool, the oldest in the Commonwealth of Virginia, was established by Daisy V. Green, a public health nurse from Petersburg.
In 1984 the Center moved to its current location on Historic Ridge Street, several blocks from downtown Charlottesville under a new name, Barrett Day Care Center. The building it currently occupies is recognized on the National Register of Historic Landmarks.
In the summer of 2003, the Center underwent significant changes. The Board of Directors elected to change the name of the Center to reflect its emphasis on teaching and learning, with regard to all aspects of child development: social, emotional, intellectual and physical.
In March, 2011, we hired Shannon Morris Banks, a graduate of the University of Virginia, and an experienced director of other child care centers, to direct the Center. Shannon led Barrett in progressing towards the standards of the Virginia Star Quality Initiative.
Now, with enthusiasm and commitment, Barrett Early Learning Center is preparing its children and families to live in the 21st Century. With the help of the Center for Nonprofit Excellence, we are preserving Barrett's legacy and creating enriching opportunities for Charlottesville's youngest residents.
More information on the history of Barrett is available through the University of Virginia Special Collections.