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The History of BDLC

50 years of childhood education

50th Time Capsule 2_edited.jpg


Founding of BDLC

BDLC opened on August 22, 1973, housed in a white farmhouse at 2120 N. Fee Lane. Created by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington, BDLC's staff consisted of one director, one regular teacher, four assistant teachers, one secretary, and a janitor. The initial open-education model adopted by BDLC incorporated Montessori and Bank Street College of Education developmental interactionist methods.


  • Tuition

    • Full Day Care (7:30-6): $22/week

    • Morning Nursery School (3 days/week for 2 ½ hours each): $6/week

  • Enrollment:

    • 34 children​



Separation from UUCB

By 1975, tensions were rising between the daycare and Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington, since BDLC was operating as a large part of the church's budget. In June 1975, the BDLC incorporated separately from UUCB and established its own board.​​​​​

BDLC's new kitchen was completed. The first parent newsletter was also sent this year.


BDLC joined the food bank and Bloomingfoods co-op. The daycare also started searching for a new location in order to expand enrollment.


Financial Improvements


The Whale Room raised funds to purchase a tree for BDLC. Congressman Lee Hamilton toured BDLC as part of a fundraiser for a deck, which was completed later that year.



BDLC got a new sign and enrollment reached 110 children.



BDLC expanded its playground and released a Little Hoosiers Cookbook



In 1992, the BDLC needed to purchase the building from Cook Financial according to an article in the Herald Times. A suite of people helped rally to make it happen, including the City Counsel, the City Development Office, and Bloomington's Mayor at the time, Tomi Allison.


Official Purchase of the Building





The current classroom names were established.

Infants: Lambs, Koalas, and Ducks

Toddlers: Kangaroos, Squirrels, and Owls

Preschoolers: Penguins and Turtles



Hands On Cooking family cookbook was released using recipes from staff and family. 


Relocation to new Building


BDLC Rewrote the Mission Statement:

A not-for-profit child-care provider, BDLC fosters the emotional, social, and educational development of children ages 6 weeks to 6 years. At BDLC, children, families, staff, and teachers work together in a diverse, caring, and community-oriented environment to develop the unique potential of every child

BDLC's Classrooms were named: Walkie Talkies, Care Bears, Fish, Whales, Dolphins, and Cubs.


On March 20, 1995, BDLC was burglarized. That year, the Dolphin Room also adopted a dolphin through the World Wildlife Federation.



Whales Class Picture from 1994


BDLC faced over $125,000 in debt due to unpaid rent, overdue health insurance premiums, and tax issues.


Congressman Frank McCloskey's office helped research and negotiate the tax issues. Board members negotiated repayment schedules with creditors and a new director and financial oversight was established.

BDLC moved to its new (current) location on S Highland Ave. 

This move allowed for expansion and the infant and toddler program was added which doubled enrollment.


At the time, the south side of Bloomington was considered a "pocket of poverty" and the city was providing tax incentives for building in the area. Cook Financial Corporation built the BDLC's new building, as well as the Bloomington Montessori School and the YMCA.


A BDLC Parent redesigned the logo and marketing materials. Signs around the facility were replaced with the new logo and branding.

BDLC closed for about 10 weeks during the Covid-19 pandemic to keep families safe, reopening in June 2020 with new Covid-19 policies and procedures. 

Covid-19 Pandemic


50th Anniversary Celebration

On July 23rd of 2023 BDLC hosted a 50th Anniversary Celebration! Current and prior families gathered to commemorate this amazing milestone, complete with food trucks, music, cake, and sensory activities. A TIME CAPSULE was buried which will hopefully be dug up in 2083 when BDLC turns 100! 

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