Welcome To Their

Happy

Haven

A Nationally Accredited Center Where Every Child Has a Voice

Welcome To Their

Happy

Haven

A Nationally Accredited Center Where Every Child Has a Voice

Preschool & Child Care Center Serving South Bend, IN

A Long-Standing Mission & Vision Of Excellence

Discover a team committed to creating a caring environment for local families that fosters learning, growth, and emotional well-being. Be part of a community where every child knows their worth.

Be Part Of A Family Driven By Strong Core Values

Excellence

Every child deserves high-quality early learning programs and services to make a difference in their lives and our community.

Trust

Using integrity, consistency, and communication to build confidence in the care we provide every day.

Integrity

Integrity is the cornerstone of a trustworthy organization that promotes effective relationships.

Curiosity

We embrace curiosity, encourage inventiveness, support risk-taking, and learn from our mistakes.

Community

Teachers and parents partner together to help our children thrive, and build authentic long-term relationships in the context of a loving community.

A Continuing Legacy Of Authentic, Community-Focused Care

Founded in 1988, East Bank Daycare was a warm, welcoming place for children whose parents primarily worked at the nearby Madison Center and Hospital. Leslie Kleppe became the Director in 2006 and immediately led the center onto a path towards accreditation with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) by improving operations, increasing enrollment, and setting higher standards for care and academics.

Leslie believed strongly in providing honest, comprehensive, authentic care for all little learners in a place where “every child has a voice.” East Bank Daycare became East Bank Learning Center in 2008 to reinforce this philosophy and celebrate accreditation from NAEYC. In 2010, Leslie assumed ownership of the center and continued to pursue her mission every day until her passing in 2016. In 2017, Mellody Buzalski became the Director of East Bank Learning Center, bringing over 20 years of experience in Early Childhood Education and a desire to build upon Leslie’s legacy of excellence.

Today, Mellody and the Leadership Team remain committed to your family and the early education community. Mellody has undergone extensive training from the Quality Leadership Institute, HighScope©️ and Conscious Discipline®️ curricula, and is a passionate advocate for excellence and continuous improvement. She has served as a school advisory board member and is the president of the Northern Region Chapter of the Indiana AEYC.

Mellody assumed ownership in April 2021 and is fully dedicated to holding the center to its NAEYC accreditation standards and its status as the first facility in Indiana to earn a Level 4 Paths to Quality rating. As Executive Director, Mellody and the EastBank Leadership Team will continue to build the mission of authentic, high-quality care for local families for many years to come and to maintain a place that provides a “childhood like no other…”

home Accreditations You Can Trust For Quality

Accreditations You Can Trust For Quality

Proudly accredited by NAEYC for providing exceptional care and recognized as one of the first centers to earn Level 4 from Indiana Paths to Quality.

Involvement That Supports Your Family & Community

As a proud member of the South Bend community, we sponsor, participate in, and partner with the family- and child-focused events and outreach programs you care about, including Menkes March in honor of one of our own families.

Proven Curricula For Proven Results

Trusted, research-based curricula deliver the best in academic and social-emotional learning. Teachers use HighScope© for every age group for quality academics and effective conflict resolution, and Conscious Discipline® for gentle social-emotional support.

Watch Them Experience A Childhood Like No Other