Baby Ph.D. Childcare Network

Managed by Sarah Diwan, HPNC Development Director

General Information

The Baby Ph.D. Childcare Network is dedicated to developing and supporting high-quality, collaborative, and community-based childcare for children 0-3 whose families live and work in the Hyde Park and University of Chicago Communities. Baby Ph.D. services include direct support to both childcare providers and families seeking childcare. Network offices are located at the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club but much of our work takes place in the surrounding community.

The Baby Ph.D. Childcare Network is supported by a grant from the Child Care Initiative of the University of Chicago & University of Chicago Hospitals. Additional funding comes from private donations and family membership dues.

Baby Ph.D. Childcare Providers

Childcare providers who are members of the Baby Ph.D. Network are committed to providing high quality child care within loving and safe environments. They receive ongoing on- & off-site professional development & mentoring & the children in their care are eligible to participate in a variety of network-sponsored enrichment activities.

Baby Ph.D. affiliated daycare sites vary significantly in size. Some are small, license-exempt daycare homes serving just 2-3 children at a time. Others are licensed daycare homes that can take between 5 – 12 children. Two of our members, Little Inspirations and Tiny Scholars Academy, are childcare centers & have a combined capacity of up to 87 children 0-5 years old.

Baby Ph.D. affiliated childcare sites are scattered across North Kenwood, Central Hyde Park, & Woodlawn. Each site is independently owned & operated and reflects the unique style, philosophy, and cultural background of the proprietor.

Childcare rates within the Baby Ph.D. Network vary according to a number of factors including child’s age, the caregiver’s background, location, amount of specialized programming available on-site, & hours of care.

Nanny Care

In addition to childcare providers, University of Chicago-affiliated families who wish to hire a nanny or utilize in-home friend or family care are eligible for membership in the Baby Ph.D. Network.* As Network Members these families may enroll their caregiver or nanny in Baby Ph.D.-sponsored professional development seminars and they have full access to the Baby Ph.D. Childcare Resource Center and the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club’s Play-N-Learn Program.


The Baby Ph.D. Childcare Network collaborates with Hyde Park Neighborhood Club to sponsor a weekday Play-N-Learn program. The program consists of 2-3 daily play-based educational activities for children ages 0-4 to attend together with their caregivers. Activities include creative art, musical story time, sign language, Tot Lot, dramatic play, infant playgroup, & more. Nannies and Baby Ph.D. childcare providers located within walking distance of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club often utilize the Club’s Play-N-Learn program as part of their daily curriculum. You can view and download the schedule here. 

Childcare Resource Center

The Baby Ph.D. Network and Hyde Park Parent Support Network jointly maintain a Childcare Resource Center and Playroom that welcomes parents and children to explore a variety of toys and books. The center also includes a lending library and a variety of professional development resources for childcare providers. The Resource Center and Playroom is open most weekdays between 9:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m.

Childcare Consultation & Referral Services

For a one-time $25 fee, the Baby Ph.D. Childcare Network provides personalized childcare consultation and referrals for parents of young children 0-3. Depending on family needs & priorities, referrals are available to daycare centers, daycare homes, and nannies. Families who hire nannies may also receive support with contracting and setting up nanny taxes.

The time from receiving a referral to enrolling in childcare can vary depending on the time of year and your specific childcare needs. Baby Ph.D. staff will assist families throughout the process, however.

To learn more about our consultation and referral services, please email us at: or stop in at one of our free monthly Childcare Information and Referral sessions. 2019 sessions will be held on the third Saturday of each month from 10-11 am at the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club (5480 S. Kenwood Ave.).

Membership Fees*

Families who are enrolled in Baby Ph.D. Member daycares pay an annual Baby Ph.D. membership fee of $288 per year for the first child and $144 for each child thereafter.

University of Chicago students, faculty, and staff who employ nannies or family and friend caregivers are also eligible to join the network. Family network fees for 2016 are $388 /year for the first child and $194 for siblings 3 months and up.

Membership enrollment forms are available from Baby PhD childcare providers or from the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club.

Please e-mail membership questions to:

More Information

For more information on the Baby Ph.D. Network or for childcare questions, please email us. You are also welcome to drop in to one of our free Childcare Information and Referral Sessions, held on the 3rd Saturday of each month from 10-11 am at Hyde Park Neighborhood Club (5480 S. Kenwood Ave.).