Make Halloween slightly less unhealthy |

I know that Halloween is a favorite holiday for so many people. And I totally get the appeal—carving pumpkins, dressing up in cool costumes and getting free candy is pretty sweet. As a parent, I still love the holiday, but I’ve learned that I need to "tweak" my approach to the holiday to keep my kids from turning into little monsters.

For starters, the crowds in Chicago can be out of control, especially during the trick-or-treating hours hosted by neighborhood stores. It’s a far cry fr...

Posted on October 20, 2016 at 1:57 PM by Laura Hoover

Why prekindergarten is key for child development |


During years four and five, children thrive through creative exploration and the desire to gain new experiences. They are learning to be more self-reliant and are seeking independence. They approach each day with curiosity—looking to expand their understanding of the world around them. Their language and communication skills are expanding rapidly, and they find gratification in sharing their new thoughts and ideas with peers and adults.


Posted on October 20, 2016 at 9:29 AM

You went to NPN's School Fair. Now what? |


You've had some time since the Annual Preschool & Elementary School Fair to decompress. Now what? Your search most likey will not stop now. Here are some additional steps you should consider. 


Use NPN's school directory and create a My Directory in your NPN account. You can customize your search, narrow it down, save a list and even take a look at where the schools are located on a Google map. This is the only comprehensive school directory in Chicago. Use it! 
Weren't a...

Posted on October 17, 2016 at 8:00 AM

NPN Preschool & Elementary School Fair: Know before you go

The NPN Preschool & Elementary School Fair is just days away! Here are all of the details you need to help you prepare before you arrive on Sunday, Oct. 16, in order to have a great school search experience. (Haven't registered yet? There are still a few spots left! Register here.)


Want to personalize your search criteria? You can do this with My Directory. Choose up to 30 schools, view them on a map, and save them to a custom PDF to print and bring with y...

Posted on October 12, 2016 at 9:00 AM by Laura Baginski

The top fall family activities in Chicago |

It’s that time of year when there is pumpkin-flavored EVERYTHING and the weather is absolutely perfect for exploring before old man winter comes and sends us all into a seasonal depression (c’mon, I know I’m not the only one who goes crazy being cooped up inside with energetic little ones, right?!?!).

So make the most out of fall in Chicagoland and create your own family fall bucket list. Need some inspiration? Here’s what is on ours—and be sure to keep up with our autumnal activities ...

Posted on October 03, 2016 at 9:41 AM by Amanda Simkin

A primer on elementary school terms |

It’s your kids who are starting school, but for many parents searching for schools feels like being in the classroom all over again! You’re taking notes on various schools, coming across brand-new terms you’ve never seen before and—gasp!—maybe even compiling a spreadsheet to keep everything straight. 

It’s overwhelming, and the urge to play hooky to escape all this is tempting. But we at NPN are here to ease some of the anxiety that comes with finding the right school for your child wi...

Posted on October 03, 2016 at 9:00 AM by Laura Baginski

Child care during the CPS teachers' strike |

Unless the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools come to a miraculous agreement, CPS teachers will strike on Tuesday, October 11. How long the strike will last is anyone's guess, but one thing's for sure: If you're a working parent, you need to figure out where to send your child while school is not in session. UPDATE: CPS announced all schools will remain open if there's a strike, though it emphasizes that sending your child to school during the strike should be a last resort...

Posted on September 30, 2016 at 9:27 AM by Laura Baginski

What to wear for cold-weather running |




With another Chicago winter right around the corner, now is the time to start preparing for cold weather race training! Whether you’re a seasoned runner trying to fit training into a busy schedule or a new runner looking for fun ways to stay in shape, it can be difficult to know how to stay comfortable in chilly weather. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind.


1. Pile on the layers. Layers are a great way to keep an ideal temperature while e...

Posted on September 27, 2016 at 3:38 PM

Save on estate planning through 10/31 |

Have you been putting off getting your estate plan in place? Now's the time! Law Office of Jennifer Guimond-Quigley is extending a 15% off estate planning services. Now through 10/31/16 take an additional $50 off your Will-based plan and $100 off your Trust-based plan. NPN members, click here for information on how to redeem this offer.

Law Office of Jennifer Guimond-Quigley focuses on helping parents plan for the future with a comprehensive and customized estate plan, accomplishing the im...

Posted on September 27, 2016 at 7:31 AM by Ellie Ander

How to choose a great school without going nuts |

All of those Facebook photos of your friends' kids on their first day of school are, of course, adorable, but if you have a two- or three-year-old it can also send you into an anxiety spiral. Oh my god, that's going to be my kid next year! And I haven't even started searching for a school yet!

First, breathe. You have enough time to find the right school. But spare yourself the headaches of navigating public and private schools on your own and let NPN help you. Trust us, we're experts ...

Posted on September 19, 2016 at 1:00 PM