In July 2012, the Children’s Center was notified that it had received the Head Start replacement grant for Western Tidewater. The Center was funded to serve 300 children in Franklin, Suffolk, Southampton County, and Isle of Wight County. The Center officially took over the program on September 1, 2012. Centers are located in Suffolk, Smithfield, Franklin, and Courtland.
In April 2016, the building at 507 Third Avenue in Franklin was renamed the Barbara S. Mease Children’s Center at the Jones House in honor of the Center’s founding executive director and the family who donated the building. The Children’s Center received an Extended Duration grant in 2017 to expand the amount of service time for those participating in the Early Head Start and Head Start programs.
In 2017, two new Early Head Start classrooms were added to the Southampton Head Start Center. During 2018-2019, the Children’s Center will be constructing a six-classroom addition to the building at 300 Executive Court in Suffolk. This addition will host 48 children in the Early Head Start program.