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 new parents 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 primarily refer to providers who are located in and around Hyde Park, including some in Woodlawn and some in Bronzeville. Often we will make referrals to providers who were members of 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.

Family Resource Center & Playroom

The Baby Ph.D. Network and Hyde Park Parent Support Network jointly maintain HPNC’s Family Resource Center and 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.

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.).