Spring Quarter Resources for UChicago Parents

March 30, 2021

A number of resources are available during the Spring Quarter to support UChicago faculty who are caring for children.

Caregiving Resources

Virtual Babysitting Program

The Office of the Provost’s virtual babysitting and tutoring program supports tenure-track and School of Medicine faculty members who are working from home and caring for young children. Children of faculty will be matched with a UChicago student for online babysitting or tutoring sessions. Please complete this request form to enroll your child in the program and contact Liv Leader with questions about the program at lleader@uchicago.edu.

Finding a Nanny or Daycare

Sarah Diwan (sdiwan@hpnclub.org) at the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club (HPNC) offers a personalized referral service for locating a nanny or babysitter in the Hyde Park area. Perspectives also offers a similar service, but focuses more on the North Side and suburbs. The HPNC also has music, art, and outdoor activities listed on Facebook and on its calendar.

Perspectives Staff and Faculty Assistance Program

Perspectives offers a personalized childcare and eldercare referral program for all University employees.

UChicago Bright Horizons Childcare Centers

The Bright Horizons Drexel Center is currently open and the Stony Island Center will open later this year. To learn more, contact Ruby Edwards at 773.819.2600. Bright Horizons also offers parenting podcasts on Spotify and Apple, and hosts a series of family webinars featuring practical advice on parenting, caregiving, learning, and managing work and family life. Upcoming workshops include:

UChicago K-12 Education Initiatives

A Navigating CPS Workshop will be held Monday, April 12, from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Learn about the process for applying for Chicago Public Schools and discuss what to look for when visiting a school (virtually) as we continue to build a community of families with faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate students. We will primarily discuss the Chicago Public Schools application process for families new to CPS. Register now. The GoCPS website provides a great deal of information. You can also review the CPS and Kidsfirst Partnership, which covers all regions of the city. 

Additional Parenting Support

UC Moms Resource Group

UC Moms is a resource group that advocates for and provides resources to parents across the University. The group currently meets via Zoom on the third Friday of each month from noon - 1 p.m., though the timing is subject to change based on guest speaker availability. For more information and to join the UC Moms group, email Laura Merkin at Laura.Markin@uchospitals.edu.

UChicago Medicine Pediatric and Parenting Classes and Resources

The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital offers several parenting classes, events, and support groups. Learn more on Comer’s website.

Wellness Series Family Fridays

The Family Friday lecture series will continue through April. Topics covered during previous quarters included: Talking with Children about Social Justice, Empowering Kids with Healthy Thinking during COVID-19, the Mental Health of Our Children During the Pandemic, LGBTQ Parenting, Positive Parenting Principles, and Supporting Non-Traditional Learning. Check the Wellness Series website for an updated schedule and recordings of previous sessions. Upcoming sessions include:

Connect with Other Parents Online

Faculty families can connect with each other and learn more about family-oriented campus programming through the Academics with Young Children Network and its Facebook page. The Student Parent Listserv (which is not just for student parents) and the Hyde Park Parent Support Network are active lists in the University community.

Activities for Children

Family Resource Center

The Family Resource Center is offering free classes for young children through June 9, along with a Zoom parent discussion group.

  • Storytime with Laura. This session is held Wednesdays from 11 - 11:30 a.m. These sessions combine thematic stories with songs, props, movement, and the occasional puppet. The target age is children two to five years old, though all ages are welcome.
  • Animal Explorers. Wednesdays from 4 – 4:30 p.m. Learn about animals from around the world—from different geographical locations, farms, zoos, etc—through stories, games, songs, and videos. The target age is children three to six years old.
  • Parenting in the Pandemic. This group meets every other Tuesday from 4 to 5 p.m. Quarantine has led to many challenges for UChicago faculty as parents and scholars. Participate in a group discussion with your colleagues to share concerns and ideas and offer support. Past discussion topics have included Friendships and Parenting, Navigating Pandemic Schooling and Daycare, and Outdoor Socializing in Winter. Faculty, staff, and student parents are welcome to attend.

For more information and session meeting links, email Laura Macgregor at lmacgregor@uchicago.edu or Lizanne Phalen at lizannep@uchicago.edu.  

Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts

UChicago Arts offers a variety of activities and events for children.

  • Family Saturdays. On the first Saturday of every month from 9 – 10 a.m., the Logan Center will premiere workshops via Facebook Live. The complete schedule of events can be found here.
  • Virtual Logan Center School Matinee Season. The Logan Center School Matinee Season offers high quality, educational, artistic prerecorded performances featuring both local and world-renowned performing artists representing the disciplines of dance, music, storytelling, and poetry.

Oriental Institute

  • Secrets of the Mummies. Join the Oriental Institute on April 16 from 4 – 5 p.m. to learn all about mummies. Ever wonder why ancient peoples mummified their dead? Come discover the myths, practices, and science behind ancient Egyptian mummies and create your very own mini-mummy. Register for the event here. The event is open to children ages 5 to 12.
  • What's Up, King Tut? Get to know Egypt's most famous king on May 14 from 4 - 5 p.m. Learn about the life of King Tut, why he was forgotten by the ancient Egyptians, and what makes him so famous today. We’ll uncover the secrets of Tut’s 17-foot-tall statue at the OI, see real artifacts from his tomb, and explore what life might have been like for kids and kings in ancient Egypt. Register now.

Smart Museum of Art

  • Family Days. Artist and museum educator Erik L. Peterson brings the fun and innovative hands-on artmaking of the Smart Museum of Art's monthly family days into your home in a series of instructional videos. The projects are inspired by the art and artists featured in the museum's exhibitions and collections and, where possible, make use of materials and tools that you might already have around home or in your recycling bin. Recordings of previous art projects can be found here.
  • The Lullaby Project. Inspired by its exhibition Take Care, the Smart Museum of Art introduces The Lullaby Project, a first-of-its-kind initiative through which the museum will commission original lullabies (and also newly recorded lullaby performances) by University of Chicago students as a musical gift to families in Chicago and around the world.

UChicago Library’s Children’s Collection

Last summer the library added more than 150 children’s books focusing on African American authors and authors of color. Visit the Guide to Children’s Books, which includes information about finding children’s books in the Library, as well as links to a children’s ebook collection (Cricket Media) and online children’s magazines. Details on borrowing books from Regenstein can be found on the Library website.

Monarch Community Science with Chicago Studies and the Field Museum
Join Chicago Studies and Erika Hasle, Conservation Ecologist for the Field Museum, for a special Earth Day presentation on monarch butterflies, their migration patterns, and their impact on Chicago's ecosystems. This presentation will be held on April 22 from 4:10 - 5:10 p.m. and will also include information on the Field Museum's Monarch Community Science Project, an initiative that invites volunteers lto help collect data on monarch butterflies right here in the city, and includes a free plant giveaway. Register now.

The Seminary Co-op Bookstores

  • Tales of the Plant Guardians by Adam Kessel takes you on a rhythmic journey through riddles and rhymes to the secret world of the plants in your backyard. Readers learn both the good and the not-so-good secret powers of common weeds in this backyard adventure book. Learn more and register now for this online event, which will be held on April 10 from 10 - 10:30 a.m.
  • Sign up for 57th Street books' monthly children's newsletter for a list of recommended titles, upcoming readings, and virtual events. Past newsletters are also available online.