About Us

Overview    |      Programs and events     |         History      

NPN is a membership-based organization that provides a diverse community of families with the resources they need to navigate parenting in the city.

Neighborhood Parents Network is a non-profit 501(c)3 that connects a diverse community of families with the resources they need to navigate parenting in the city. Expectant, new and seasoned parents come to NPN to find what they need to tackle the everyday challenges of being a Chicago parent. Whether online or in person, NPN makes it easy to find support, must-have information and amazing city events. NPN has been connecting Chicago parents for more than 36 years! 

Overview

Mission: To connect a diverse community of families with the resources they need to navigate parenting in the city.

We achieve our mission by providing Chicago families with:

The quick and dirty:

  • 501(c)3 Illinois non-profit founded in 1980
  • 6,000 active family members
  • 400+ school, business and non-profit members
  • More than 30 events per month for parents living all over Chicago
  • More than 25 groups to meet each family's special interests and/or location in the city
  • 87% of members have children age 5 and younger
  • Approximately 22.000 unique visitors/month
  • Approximately 800,000 page views/month
  • Dynamic discussion forum draws 350 posts and 16,000 page views per day

NPN is managed by a full-time Executive Director and Volunteer Director and a team of part-time staff members. Our team is made up of an amazing group of women who wanted to go back to work on a part-time flexible basis—the nirvana of work-life balance. Their expertise includes program development, advertising, event management, accounting, programming and more!

Program and events

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NPN strives to uphold its mission by supporting a number of programs and resources aimed at educating and connecting parents and facilitating communication among our community.

Our most popular initiatives revolve around school choice in Chicago—a daunting topic for many parents. Our annual Preschool and Elementary School Fairs brings together nearly 1,000 members with school and business representatives and provides a forum for sharing information about the vast number of educational options available for Chicago families. Our online Elementary and Preschool Directories provide vital information used by parents in their school-selection process. 

Parent-to-parent interaction is the No. 1 goal of NPN. Our popular discussion forum provides a place where members can talk about everything from childcare to the weekend’s hot activity. Our forum draws 250 posts and 6,000 page views per day.

One of our core programs since our founding is the New Moms Groups, an opportunity for new moms to meet in a volunteer's home and form new friendships and a support network. Our recently added Expectant Parents program  provides soon-to-be parents with opportunities to learn from experts and network with other mommies- and daddies-to-bes. We work with volunteers to support Neighborhood Groups and Social Groups such as Adoption, Moms of Multiples, Same Sex Parents and Working Moms

NPN supports several initiatives aimed at educating parents. We publish a quarterly newsletter, Parent to Parent, providing informative articles written by experienced parents. We provide a Parent University Speaker Series featuring parenting topics such as financial planning, potty training and picky eaters. All of our speaker topics for Parent University and other programs are selected based on the topics our members care about and discuss online.

History

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Neighborhood Parents Network of Chicago (NPN), formerly the Northside Parents Network, was established in 1980 as a Chicago nonprofit organization. Our founders, a small group of pioneer parents, decided to raise their children in urban Chicago and realized this wouldn’t be possible without a strong network of support in the big city. The group remained fairly small and concentrated on the Chicago North Side for a number of years. NPN organized playgroups, babysitting co-ops, Moms-Morning-Out programs and other family gatherings. We began publishing a newsletter to share parenting tips and community information. And we organized school fairs and other parenting resources. Our marketing effort was solely word-of-mouth communication.

As technology advanced, it became easier to grow the network. In 2003, we established our current website. Since that time, we have seen membership grow exponentially. Our membership now includes approximately 5,800 parents. While membership remains concentrated on the North Side, NPN now reaches Chicago’s Northwest, West, South and Southwest neighborhoods and the near suburbs.