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The Janie Porter Barrett Day Nursery

When Rip Payne took these photos of the Janie Porter Barrett Nursery in 1947, it was the only local day care center that was licensed by the State, though a variety of other local childcare facilities existed. When the Child Welfare League of America did a survey of local day care in 1948, it expressed approval of the Janie Porter Barrett Day Nursery, but indicated it needed a professionally trained executive director.

The Janie Porter Barrett Day Nursery, operated for Negro children by a bi-racial board of directors, charged $1 a week per child. By 1948, it received almost 50 per cent of its funding from Charlottesville’s Community Chest. It was also supported by contributions from the Elks Club. The Child Welfare League in its 1948 survey of local child care facilities, deplored the fact that “in Charlottesville, as in most cities, there has been no formal recognition, support, or control of foster day care; its existence, support, and its most obvious hazards being a concern only of the mothers. . .”

Daisy Green, standing next to the children on the slide, was a registered nurse who came to Charlottesville in the 1930s to serve with the Joint Health Department and, with the support of the Works Project Administration of the New Deal, organized the Janie Porter Barrett Day Nursery in 1935. Based on the philosophy of the acclaimed African- American educator and social worker, Janie Porter Barrett, the center was noted for its nurturing and creative environment for children. Barrett was able to garner support from the Virginia General Assembly and substantial funding from private sources, particularly white clubwomen with whom she developed good rapport.





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