January 12, 2021
A number of resources are available during the Winter Quarter to support UChicago faculty who are caring for children.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finding a Nanny or Daycare
Sarah Diwan (email@example.com) 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:
- Perspectives in Pandemic Parenting: January 26 at 2 p.m. Between working from home, staying in place, socializing online, and learning remotely, the pandemic has affected how families live, work, and learn. Hear from a panel of parents sharing personal insights about parenting during this time.
- What’s Next in Work, Parenting, and Wellness: March 30 at 2 p.m. Experts discuss and reflect on parenting and caregiving during the pandemic, providing guidance and insights for the road ahead on three topics important to families: health and safety, work-life integration, and wellness.
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.
Social Service Administration/Urban Education Institute Virtual Parenting Series
The Social Service Administration and Urban Education Institute (UEI) have organized a free virtual series that aims to help parents and caregivers during the pandemic. Sessions draw on the perspectives and experiences of social service practitioners, literacy experts, college admissions officers and counselors, and other parents to help navigate challenging days. Topics include how parents can support social and emotional learning at home, promoting literacy through reading at home, and navigating the college application process from home. Recorded sessions are available on UEI’s YouTube Channel.
Wellness Series Family Fridays
The Family Friday lecture series will continue through the Winter Quarter. Topics covered during the Autumn Quarter 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. New programming begins in February 2021 and the schedule will be posted shortly.
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.
Navigating CPS Workshop
Attend a workshop on February 1 from 5 – 6 p.m. where Duane Davis, UChicago’s Executive Director of K-12 Initiatives, will review the process for applying for Chicago Public Schools and discuss what to look for when visiting a school virtually. This session will primarily cover the CPS application process for new families. The GoCPS website provides a great deal of information, and parents may also reference CPS/Kidsfirst Partnership, which covers all regions of the city. Register here.
Activities for Children
Family Resource Center
The Family Resource Center is offering two classes for young children from January 13 – March 17, 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.
- Paint Party. Wednesdays from 4 – 4:30 p.m. All you need is a basic set of tempera paints, brushes, paper, and a willingness to clean up afterwards. Each week’s session will experiment with different subjects, colors, or techniques. 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.
For more information and session meeting links, email Laura Macgregor at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lizanne Phalen at email@example.com. You can also access recordings of past classes by going to FRC Resources page, scrolling slightly down the page, and selecting the tab in the upper right corner that reads "Autumn Quarter Classes."
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.
- Ancient Fashion Workshop. Join the Oriental Institute on January 22 from 4 – 5 p.m. for an exploration of ancient fashion. Ever wondered what the hottest trends were for ancient peoples? Learn about ancient dress, makeup, accessories, hairstyles, and more with this fashion tour through ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. At the end, design your very own ancient inspired look! Register for this online event on the OI’s website. The session is open to children ages five to 12.
- Bones Workshop. Attend a workshop on bones on February 17 from 4 - 5 p.m. Think skeletons are just for Halloween? The bones inside you would disagree: you use your skeleton every day! What's more, written on your own bones is the story of the physical activities you take part in and the food you eat. Explore how this knowledge helps archaeologists learn about the lives of ancient people while also learning how to help your own bones tell the great story of healthy living. You'll get a hands-on, kid's crash course in bioarchaeology from a real bioarchaeologist. The event is open to children ages eight to 12. Register now.
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 and curbside pickup can be found on the Library website.
My Very Own Library Program
The My Very Own Virtual Read Aloud Program offers online literacy resources featuring University faculty, authors, community leaders, NFL alumni, and other prominent individuals reading books and poems.