Our Mission

Barrett Early Learning Center exists to provide a safe and nurturing learning environment for children, and to ensure that they have opportunities for physical, emotional, social and intellectual growth. Our goal is to promote and foster growth and development in young children by providing a high-quality child care environment that offers a variety of sensory, language, cognitive and social experiences which generate a love for learning and prepares children for success in grade school and beyond.


Our Philosophy

We believe that a child’s early years provide the foundation for growth and development for the rest of his or her life. We believe that excitement for learning is best generated in a setting that presents challenging and supportive experiences which encourage creative thinking and problem solving; allows decision- and choice-making within appropriate limits, and fosters love and respect for oneself and others.


Barrett ELC Background

Founded in 1935, Barrett ELC is the oldest continuous running child care center in Virginia. Located on Ridge Street, only a few blocks from the Downtown Mall, the center is convenient to the children and parents we serve. Our year-round program is licensed to serve up to 50 children ages 2 through 5 years of age and maintains an average enrollment of 40 children throughout the year.,

We have recently Incorporated the HighScope Program into our Creative Curriculum which provides a structured framework for an optimal learning experience. A variety of resources are integrated into our program to address all aspects of a child’s development: cognitive/intellectual, physical and social-emotional. We conclude the year with a graduation ceremony to celebrate the children’s’ advancements and accomplishments.

Our staff collectively has over 129 years of early learning experience and is committed to continue the legacy of the center’s vision; to serve children from the local Charlottesville Community, provide quality early childhood education for working families and meet the developmental needs of each individual child.