Bluffton Child Development Center - Infant, Toddler, Preschool and After School Education Programs, in Bluffton, Ohio

The Bluffton Child Development Center (BCDC)

Happy Kids

General Information

Through the financial support from the community the Bluffton Child Development Center (BCDC) was established in 1977. The Center is a State One-Star Step Up To Quality Certified Child Care facility with a 501.3c nonprofit status that serves children from ages six weeks through 12 years. The center has 3465 square feet of classroom space (enough for 99 children per state law), and it is situated on about 3 acres of land. The center has a total fenced in area for child play and exploration of about 1 acre. The area is divided into a play field/ garden area of about 3/4 of an acre and a separately fenced in playground area of 6600 square feet that includes playground equipment on a padded base and a half-court basketball court. The BCDC is located on County Line Road just 1 mile off of Interstate 75 (Exit 142). Our hours are Monday thru Friday, 6:15 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Statement of Purpose

Bluffton Child Development Center is a community service that provides an educational program for infants, toddlers, preschool, pre-k and school age groups.

Mission Statement

It is the mission of the Bluffton Child Development Center to provide a program that includes a loving, nurturing environment, a professional staff and a developmentally appropriate curriculum that enables every child to grow and learn in their own unique way.

Philosophy and Education Objectives

We believe that every child should have the opportunity to learn at their own appropriate level of development. We accomplish this by a hands-on approach to education that encourages each child to become excited about the learning process.

Qualified Director

The BCDC director is Francine Donathan. She has over 14 years of experience working at Bluffton Child Development Center as a teacher and in administration. She has been a teacher preschool & Pre-K. She has been the Assistant Director for 12 years and has moved up to the Director's position in May 2014. She holds an Ohio Administrator's Credential. Francine is married and a mother of 4 grown children. She is Grandmother of eleven grandchildren. She loves to spend her free time with her large family. In her spare time she enjoys classic movies, classic novels and visiting Lake Erie & the Atlantic Coast. She can be reached at or (419) 358-8222.

Certified Staff

Most of our teachers have a minimum of an associate degree in early childhood education or a related field. the remainder are either working on their degree or have two years experience in working with young children. Both teachers and staff are required to complete yearly in service sessions and workshops pertaining to early childhood professional care.

Family Involvement

We encourage parental involvement by having an open door policy. We believe it is important to provide activities that involve parents as well as siblings and other family members. Some of these activities include an annual open-house and our annual spring program. A personal touch that the center provides includes giving parents photographs of their children at the facility (especially at special parties and events). We are proud of the facility and services we provide and invite anyone interested to stop by and visit--there is always someone available to answer questions and provide a tour of the center.

Board of Trustees

The center is supported by a board of trustees made up of eight leaders in the community as well as some parents with children currently enrolled at the BCDC. The board helps oversee the overall operation of the facility, helps with fundraisers, and other projects as needed.


The Bluffton Child Development Center, originally named Bluffton community Day Care Center, was formed by the Inter-Church Board of Bluffton in 1977. The center was housed in a building owned by the First Mennonite Church. As the need for child care grew over the years, the location on Church Street was not large enough to provide child care for all the families desiring to use the facility. Plans were then made to license two additional classrooms in the Methodist Church located across the street from the original center. Operating a center out of two separate buildings solved the immediate spacing problems, but due to the location, safety of the children became an important factor. This forced the Day Care's Board of Trustees to realize that it was time to begin plans that would result in a new home for the Day Care.

Through the financial support from the community of Bluffton and the dedication and drive of the Bluffton Community Day Care Center's Board of Trustees and staff, the new facility was built at 325 County Line Road in Bluffton and opened in 1991. At that time, the name of the center was also changed to the Bluffton Child Development Center (BCDC) to better reflect the overall mission of the center as being more than a daycare center.

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