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 nearly 40 years!
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:
- Parent support such as active discussion forums, parent education workshops and informative blog posts
- School-choice resources such as our annual school fair, online school directory and Virtual School Tours
- Childcare resources such as Child Care Classifieds
- Developmental differences support such as monthly support groups and our annual Developmental Differences Resource Fair
The quick and dirty:
- 501(c)3 Illinois non-profit founded in 1980
- 4,100 active family members
- 560+ school, business, childcare and non-profit members
- More than 20 events per month for parents living all over Chicago
- 87% of members have children age 5 and younger
- Approximately 16,000 unique visitors/month
- Approximately 320,000 pageviews/month
- Dynamic discussion forum draws 90 posts and 3,000 pageviews per day
NPN is managed by a full-time Executive Director and Director of Partnerships & Programming, 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! Learn more about the NPN team.
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 Fair brings together nearly 500 members with school representatives and provides a forum for sharing information about the vast number of educational options available for Chicago families. Our online school directory provides vital information used by parents in their school-selection process. Our newest school-choice resource, Virtual School Tours, allows parents to step inside Chicago schools from the comfort of their couch.
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. Recent improvements to our discussion forum offer an optimized mobile experience and more use anonymity.
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. Many New Moms Group members find lifelong mom friends!
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.
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.