Early Childhood

No early childhood activities will take place July 4-8


March with us in the 4th on 53rd Independence Day Parade! To receive communications related to the parade, email Hayley at

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What people are saying:

"Through Tot Lot we have become so much more connected to the community. When we moved here, it was hard to adjust to life in a bigger city. But we immediately plugged in to Tot Lot and started meeting so many friends. Now it seems like everywhere I go I see somebody from Tot Lot. It makes me feel like I belong here.

- Tot Lot parent

Tot Lot

Days: Mondays and Fridays

Time: Drop-in from 9:00am-12:00pm 

Cost: $10/day or get a discount with a Session Pass or 10 Class Pass 

New to HPNC? Your first day at Tot Lot is 100% FREE 

Tot Lot offers opportunities for children 0-5 to experience the world outside their home with their caregiver. Hosted in our expansive gym, children have access to mats, riding toys, play structures, balls, and open-ended building materials. A separate area is available for non-walking children to safely play, explore, and observe. 

We design our programs with the whole family in mind. Tot Lot is a time for caregivers to build strong networks and to boost their mental health through relationship and connection. For young children, our goal is to create a safe space for them to explore their physical limits, build friendships, and experience new and challenging sensations within the context of loving, attuned, and supportive care.

Self-directed play with peers is intentionally at the core of our programming, because we know that this is the most direct way to foster: 

  • Healthy social and emotional development

  • Self-regulation and self-monitoring

  • Joy, curiosity, and wonder

  • Motor, language, and problem-solving skills through real-world experience negotiating with peers

  • Confidence and sense of self

Spring 2022 special activities 

Through June 24

All special activities included in Tot Lot registration 


Messy Art 


Let your child explore their creative side - and let HPNC do the cleaning up! 

Curated Sensory Experiences 


Rotating sensory play invitations promote joy, tactile and body awareness, fine motor skills, cooperative play, and deep focus. Fun for adults too!


Spanish Story Time at 10:30am

Native Spanish-speaker Analu gathers all interested children for a story from one of her favorite children's books. 

Summer 2022 schedule 

June 28-July 29 - no early childhood activities July 4-10 

All special activities included in Tot Lot registration 


Indoor Tot Lot 


Outdoor Messy Art 


Let your child explore their creative side - and let HPNC do the cleaning up! 

Spanish Story Time at 10:30am

Native Spanish-speaker Analu gathers all interested children for a story from one of her favorite children's books. 


Outdoor Tot Lot


Water Play 



Nature Club

Summer 2022

Day: Wednesdays from June 29-July 27, no Nature Club on July 6

    Session 1: 9:00-10:15am  

    Session 2: 10:30-11:45am 

Ages: 6 months-5 years

Cost: $40 for the four-week session  

Did you know that kids who spend time in nature have stronger self-esteem, are more creative and cooperative, are better at following directions and problem solving, and are physically and mentally healthier? 

We invite you to join our nature-based, child-directed play club intended to ignite a love of the outdoors for our youngest explorers. Activities can be adapted for kids ages 6 months – 5 years.

Expect developmentally appropriate games and conversations about nature and environmental stewardship. We plan to watch the seasons change together, hunt for bugs and the first signs of spring, search for outdoor treasures, dig in the mud, and splash in puddles. Come dressed for the weather and ready to take in the full range of sensational experiences that the outdoors has to offer. 

We’ll be gearing up to plant our garden this summer and may begin some seedlings indoors that the kids can tend and watch grow. 

Nature-based activity offerings will include: 

  • Natural materials for building, climbing, and balancing

  • Nature-based sensory enrichment experiences

  • Movement and mindfulness activities to build body awareness and interception skills

  • Opportunities for early season planting and bug catching

  • Periodic special guest gardening and local wildlife experts to share experiences about city gardening and environmental stewardship

Register now! 

    Session 1: Wednesdays from 9-10:15am 

    Session 2: Wednesdays from 10:30-11:45am


Infant Massage 

Day: Fridays from July 1-29, no class on July 8
Time: 9:30-10:30am  

Cost: $10/day; $35/session

Caregivers with pre-crawling infants are invited to this class focused on parent-child bonding through gentle touch. 

Infant massage can:  

  • help develop social-emotional skills

  • support parent-child communication

  • regulate behavioral states and promote sleep

  • support digestive discomfort

  • improve muscle tone and body awareness


We encourage you to sign up for the full session if possible as a primary goal of this class is to connect caregivers with pre-crawling infants to a community of local parents. 


This class is led by pediatric occupational therapist, Hayley Younkin-Wilson. Hayley has experience using massage and gentle stretching therapeutically with infants and young children. 


Participants are welcome to stay for Tot Lot after - included in the cost of the class - to meet more families and continue connecting and playing. 

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Childcare Referral Services

Looking for childcare in Hyde Park? Consult with an expert on the childcare landscape in the neighborhood to learn about the options that are right for your family! 

Check us out!

Free drop-in informational sessions are held on the third Saturday of each month from 10-11am. Due to Covid-19, sessions are currently held via Zoom. Register now for the next available session below. 

When you're ready, you can also schedule a 1:1 consultation with Dr. Sarah Diwan. Dr. Diwan will review your childcare needs and provide you with a list of options that match. Consultations are $25 and can be scheduled here

Consultations can be held in person at HPNC (5480 S Kenwood Ave) during the regularly available times on Mondays and Fridays. If you would prefer to meet in person rather than via Zoom, please let Dr. Diwan know at


Not seeing a 1:1 consultation time that works for your schedule? Email Dr. Diwan directly at with 3-4 scheduling options that work for you.

What people are saying:

"I reached out to HPNC in the fall of 2020 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

Register for a free drop-in session

Sign up for a 1:1 consultation

Don't see the registration form below? Click to view the registration page here.

What’s Next?

Once you complete your registration, our childcare specialist Dr. Diwan will begin gathering information based on your responses to the Google Form in preparation for your meeting. You may receive assistance for up to one year and will be eligible to receive specific contact information for nannies and home daycare providers. Working with our staff does not guarantee that you will receive a placement at your top choice provider. We do promise to work with you to find a good fit for your family from available options at the time that you plan to start care. 

While we are not a nanny placement agency, we assist nannies and families to find one another when their needs and priorities overlap. We also do our best to assist families seeking to join or host a nanny share.

Please note:  The process of securing childcare may be very quick, or it can extend over several months. 

We look forward to working with you!