About Us

History of Ida Barbour Early Learning Center

The late Miss Ida B. Barbour, a native of Portsmouth, Virginia, founded Miller Home and Day Nursery in 1910. Miss Barbour attended Philadelphia’s Institute for Colored Youth (now Cheyney State University) which was headed by Fannie Jackson Coppin. Miss Barbour returned to Portsmouth and was a teacher at the Chestnut Street School (now I.C. Norcom High School). After learning of her neighbor’s death Miss Barbour and her elderly mother took in the neighbor’s five small children who were left with no one to care for them. As time passed, her family of homeless and neglected children grew. Miss Barbour operated with minimal finances and the support of the Women’s Sewing Circle. Together they provided food, clothing and shelter for her children.

In 1917, a group of social workers merged with Miss Barbour and the Women’s Sewing Circle to provide a more unified service for children. In the same year, the group incorporated Miller Home and Day Nursery and established a Board of Directors. In 1925 Miss Barbour died but services for children in need continued without cost to them. Many organizations, citizens and doctors offered their generous support and services.

Honoring Our Past

In 2004 the Board of Directors voted to change the name of Miller Home and Day Nursery to Ida Barbour Early Learning Center, in honor of its founder. The center has had various locations in Portsmouth throughout the years but has continued to maintain the heritage of its original organization. The center is in the United States Library of Congress Archives as one of the oldest daycare establishments in the State of Virginia. The members of the Board of Directors remain inspired and continue to serve the community.

Ida Barbour Early Learning Center – New Discoveries

Look into the eyes of every child and you will see their eagerness to learn. There’s a spark with each new discovery. And each new discovery is a step in the pathway to future learning. At Ida Barbour Early Learning Center, we prepare each child for success in school, in community, and in life. Our aim is to enhance quality of life for at-risk children and their families by providing care in a safe, nurturing, and highly enriching environment. Our staff of loving, giving, and nurturing educators focuses every effort toward providing each child with the best opportunity to succeed in life.

Early Learning For Long-Term Gain

Studies say a child’s brain is 80% developed by age three. Ida Barbour Early Learning Center supports parents in instilling positive habits of learning and a love of discovery — the foundations of life-long learning.
With  Theresa Roseborough as Center Director, our IBELC team of educators has worked together to create a quality program designed to encourage children to succeed and excel. Our program works to develop each child’s cognitive-thinking skills, social, emotional, and physical skills.

Community-Based Services

Ida Barbour Early Learning Center enhances quality of life for at-risk children and their families by providing care in a safe, nurturing, and highly enriching environment. Founded in 1910, the Ida Barbour Early Learning Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, community-based organization.

“The mission of Ida Barbour Early Learning Center is to prepare each child for success in school, in community, and in life. Ida Barbour Early Learning Center enhances quality of life for at-risk children and their families by providing care in a safe, nurturing, and highly enriching environment. Additionally, we seek to uplift low-income families and prepare them for a global society by counteracting the negative influences that limit their aspirations and opportunities.”

Ida Barbour Early Learning Center Offers:

  • Early care and education services for ages 6 weeks – 4 years
  • Before and after school care for ages 4 years – 7 years
  • Evidence-based curriculums
  • Experienced staff
  • Brigance assessments
  • U.S.D.A approved meals

We are licensed by the Virginia Department of Social Services to serve a capacity of 60 children in a safe, clean and nurturing environment. We have bright, lively learning environment including new classroom furniture purchased with a grant from the Portsmouth Community Foundation.

We are United Way of South Hampton Roads Agency
#5025 
Combined Federal Campaign
South Hampton Roads Agency #28037#

We are United Way of South Hampton Roads Agency #5025 Combined Federal Campaign - South Hampton Roads Agency #28037#