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Child Care Resource 
& Referral

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What people are saying:

"I reached out to HPNC because my family and I were moving from St. Louis and needed a nanny until our kids transitioned to daycare. I had a wonderful experience with HPNC with respect to being able to setup interviews and get in touch with nannies. 

"Our nanny is wonderful. She’s always on time, has never taken a sick day, adores our children (potty-trained our daughter, celebrated her birthday with her), and lives close by and has her own car—very useful in the time of COVID." 

- Father of two, faculty member at
UChicago Medical Center

Childcare Referral Services

Finding the right childcare can be hard for new and relocating parents! HPNC is here to help guide you through the process or just to provide reassurance along the way. We provide private and group consultation for parents who are seeking childcare for young children ages birth to three years. Parents may sign up for group sessions that include a brief introduction to the basic childcare landscape in and around Hyde Park or for a private 1:1 consultation where time is dedicated to talking through childcare decision making and personalized referrals are given. Extra support for parents hiring nannies may include guidance on contracting, how to prepare for a successful relationship, and basic guidance on setting up household employee taxes.

Take the next step:

Free drop-in informational sessions are held on the second Saturday of each month from 10-11am via Zoom. Register now for the next available session. 

Sarah is also available in person at Tot Lot from 10:30-11:30am on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month. No appointment necessary; just stop by! 

When you're ready, you can also schedule a private consultation with Dr. Sarah Diwan. Dr. Diwan will review your childcare needs and provide you with a list of options that match. Private consultations are $25 and can be scheduled here. If you prefer, an in-person meeting may be arranged. 

Consultations with Dr. Diwan are full through February 15

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Resources and Support for Caregivers

Provider support services fall into three categories: parent referrals, administrative mentoring, & curriculum & enrichment planning. Dr. Diwan is available to assist childcare providers including nannies, home daycare operators, and centers. Priority is given to those providing childcare for children birth to 3 years whose families live and work in the Hyde Park and University of Chicago Communities. 

HPNC maintains a Resource Center that houses a lending library and a variety of resources for parents and childcare providers. Caregivers are invited to check-out these resources during HPNC's open hours. 

Connecting caregivers with families 

Are you a home daycare provider, nanny, or babysitter who wants to be connected to South Side families seeking child care? Complete this intake form linked below to start the process: 

CCRR Provider Intake Form

Professional caregivers are invited to connect with Sarah at Tot Lot from 10:30-11:30am on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month. No appointment necessary; just stop by! 

Caregiver Professional Development 2022-23

This free workshop series is intended for parents, nannies, and daycare providers - particularly those with children ages birth to 3 years. Attendees can register for one, more, or all workshops based on individual interest. Below is the workshop schedule for the complete series: Register now

Family Band 101: Music For Early Learning and Development

Saturday, October 1
Led by Marsha Melsheimer

Nuts and Bolts of Nanny Taxes & Contracting

Saturday, December 3 

Led by Sarah Diwan, PhD 


Round Table for Hyde Park Nannies 

Saturday, December 10 

Led by Sarah Diwan, PhD 

Learning Through Play

A three-part series led by occupational therapist and developmental specialist Hayley Younkin-Wilson, OTD, OTR/L 

Play is the serious and important work of childhood. Not only does it build connections, relationships, and positive mental health, but it is also the most powerful tool for literally growing kids brains. Decades of research point to play as essential for gaining new skills, building self regulation, and increasing capacity for innovation and learning. 

This interactive series is intended for caregivers of children ages birth to 5 who are looking to understand their kids better, find more ease in relationship, and harness play as a tool to support development.

Part I: Categories and Definitions of Play in Children and their Adult Caretakers, January 21

In this interactive workshop, you will learn about compelling research regarding the power and importance of play in childhood and adulthood. We will discuss categories of play and ideas for setting up spaces and invitations to engage in each different type of play. You can expect to learn how to complete an informal developmental assessment of play skills as well as practical strategies for supporting different developmental domains (social-emotional, cognitive, communication, sensory, and motor skills) through play.

Part II: Play and The Tools for Lifelong Success: Emotional Regulation, Pro-social Skills, and Executive Functions, February 11

Play is a powerful tool for developing new skills and for supporting cooperation in children. When we deepen our understanding of the various types of play that children gravitate towards, we are better able to communicate with, understand, and support them. We’ll talk about how child-directed play supports development of essential skills and concrete examples of how we can use adult-guided play to support cooperation and skill development in our daily lives. In this workshop, we’ll specifically hone in on the intersection of play and emotional regulation, pro-social skills, and executive functions: all lifelong predictors of success and happiness.

Part III: Play and Relationship: You, Your Child, and Goodness of Fit, March 18

In our final workshop we will take a deeper dive into "learning through play," reflecting on the "play profiles" of the children in our lives and our own play preferences. Goodness of fit between a child and their adult caregivers impacts satisfaction in the caregiver role, mental health of the child and caregiver, and the ease of relationship. We will shine the spotlight on our own judgements about various types of play, and how we can shift our capacity to tune into our children's world and preferences.

Caring for the Caregiver: Using mindfulness and breathwork to create calm and peaceful environments for children and adults alike

Saturday, April 15 

Led by Peg Dunne Pavelec, Owner & Executive Director Little Inspirations Child Care Center


Additional sessions may be added in May and/or June 2023


For all the the above sessions, use the link below:

The HPNC Child Care Resource & Referral program is funded by a grant from the Childcare Initiative of the University of Chicago and the University of Chicago Hospital and Medical Center

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