Childcare Information and Referral Services

(Previously Baby PhD)

General Information

HPNC’s Childcare Information and Referral Service grew out of a program previously known as The Baby Ph.D. Childcare Network. Our referral service is dedicated to assisting parents of children 0-3 y/o who need assistance with their childcare search. We provide information and guidance as parents sort out the type of care (nanny, home daycare, center-based care) that best meets their needs, and help them to locate providers who match their unique needs both philosophically and in a practical sense (location, hours, cost, etc.).

HPNC’s Childcare Information and Referral Service is supported by a grant from the Child Care Initiative of the University of Chicago & University of Chicago Hospitals.


Referrals are made only after we understand your family’s specific priorities. We are able to make referrals for nanny care, home-based childcare, and childcare centers. We primarily refer to providers who are located in and around Hyde Park, including some in Woodlawn and some in Bronzeville.

We often make referrals to nannies and providers who were previously members of, or otherwise associated with, the Baby PhD Childcare Network. We know those providers well and have many opportunities to observe their work in real time. We also refer to providers in the area who we do not know so well but who have longstanding, strong local reputations. Sometimes families ask about providers who we do not know well.  In those cases we assist families to do the necessary research as to whether that provider may be a good fit for their needs. 

Our childcare referral service runs on a donation basis. The suggested minimum donation is $25.  Your donation assists us to remain a resource for you throughout your childcare search and to maintain this important community service into the future. Donations may be made online or over the phone with HPNC front desk personnel: 773-643-4062. 

To learn more about our consultation and referral services, please email Sarah Diwan  An important first step will be to fill out our 2020 Childcare Referral Application and return as email attachment to Sarah Diwan. Please do not pay the $25 referral fee until you have heard back from us.

A great way to get started on your childcare search is to attend one of our FREE monthly info sessions  – now on Zoom due to COVID-19 public health concerns. Zoom invite (August 15th at 10:00 a.m.) is here and also visible on our Program Calendar. Please let us know by email if this date/time is not convenient.

Family Resource Center & PSN Playroom

** Temporarily closed due to Covid risk**

The HPNC Childcare Referral Service and Hyde Park Parent Support Network (PSN) jointly maintain the HPNC Family Resource Center and PSN Playroom. This is a cozy spot just off the HPNC front lobby where welcomes parents and children are welcome to explore a variety of toys and books. The center 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. but as of 3/16/20 it is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 public health threat.