Author - Laura Baginski

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Show some love to these Chicago Black-owned businesses

Looking for a special gift or just a treat for yourself? Check out this list of Black-owned businesses in the city (many of which offer delivery or curbside pickup), where you can get everything from cocktail-themed artisan soaps to kids' toys. 

Food & Drink

Batter & Berries: Breakfast/brunch/lunch spot in Lincoln Park

Berry Berry Sweets: Cakes, cupcakes and cake pop caterer

Bettie Lou’s: American cuisine in Andersonville

Brown Sugar Bakery: Cakes and cupcakes in Ch...

Posted on July 28, 2020 at 1:43 PM by Laura Baginski

Resources to help you talk about racism with your kids

It may not be easy to talk to your kids about the realities of racism, but it's a critical part of making positive change in our city and our country, and helping your child develop into a thoughtful, aware and kind adult.

Here are some resources to help parents facilitate these conversations. We'll keep adding more as we find them. If you have resources to add to this list, email laura@npnparents.org. And add your voice to the lively discussions happening right now on our forum about ...

Posted on June 04, 2020 at 12:12 PM by Laura Baginski

In-person summer camps still happening in Chicago

There's no doubt about it: Summer in Chicago will look a lot different this year. But before you start panic-purchasing inflatable pools and water guns, take a look at these summer camps that are still planning on having in-person camps. Of course, in this COVID-altered world, things can change—camps may reconfigure their schedules or cancel altogether. But for now, check out these camps that are adhering to city safety guidelines for in-person gatherings.

[Not ready for in-person camp...

Posted on June 03, 2020 at 1:35 PM by Laura Baginski

A Chicago pediatrician answers your questions about coronavirus

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Like many people around the world, our parent members have countless questions about COVID-19, an illness caused by a new coronavirus strain that has led to thousands of deaths worldwide and spurred the cancelation of major events such as South by Southwest in Austin and trade shows in Chicago—not to mention some area schools. Parents hoping to find information to keep their families safe posted questions on the NPN discussion forum for Anita Chandra-Pu...

Posted on March 09, 2020 at 10:33 AM by Laura Baginski

Working mom hacks: Tips and tricks to make your life easier

Having a moment to blissfully enjoy your coffee in the morning? Mmmmmaaaaybe it's possible if you follow these working mom hacks.

Coffee alone won't cut it. Parents who work full time need a plan to get out of the house on time in the morning with everyone fed, dressed and backpacks packed—without tears. (No one would blame you if you have a little cry on the way to work, btw.)

How do seasoned working moms make it all happen? We asked our members their top tricks and tips for keep...

Posted on December 04, 2019 at 12:59 PM by Laura Baginski

Childcare during the CPS teachers' strike

Unless the Chicago Teachers Union and the city come to an agreement, CPS teachers and support staff, who are on the picket lines now, will continue to strike into the week of Oct. 21. 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.

Here are some options for childcare during the strike. Check back often—we'll be updating this post as we get more informat...

Posted on October 11, 2019 at 9:27 AM by Laura Baginski

New CPS school ratings are out. But what do they mean?

On Friday, Chicago Public Schools released a lot of new data. While CPS's continued enrollment slide made the biggest headlines (enrollment is linked to how much funding each district receives), the new school ratings are likely more important to parents, especially those in the thick of school search. Find out where your school—or the schools you're considering for your child next year—ranks here. 

My son's school's rating dropped from a 1+ to a 1. That's disappointing, for sure, but ...

Posted on October 29, 2018 at 11:27 AM by Laura Baginski

Let's hear your thoughts on CPS's plan of action regarding sexual abuse

A week ago, the Chicago Tribune broke a story about the lack of response, action and follow-through regarding sexual abuse at Chicago Public Schools. Since this report broke, CPS has taken steps to address the issue, including sending this plan of action to community-based organizations like NPN. 

We're sharing this here with you so you can be aware of CPS's plan, and to facilitate a discussion about protecting children from abuse. What do you think about this plan of action? Do you think ...

Posted on June 08, 2018 at 9:44 AM by Laura Baginski

5 tips for the Developmental Differences Resource Fair

On Sunday, March 11, Developmental Differences Resource Fair brings together service providers, school options and other resources in one place that focus on serving parents of children with developmental differences (developmental delays, sensory processing disorder, autism, ADHD, PDD-NOS, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, Down syndrome and physical disabilities). Register now to reserve your spot for this free fair!

Here are our top 5 tips to be prepared for the fair:

...

Posted on March 07, 2018 at 11:29 AM by Laura Baginski

The most popular NPN blog posts and forum threads of 2017

And you thought 2016 was tumultuous. 

The twists and turns of 2017 nearly gave us whiplash, from the impressive academic growth at CPS to its CEO's demise, to, well, nearly everything that happened in the U.S. government this year. Through it all, NPN members led lively discussions on these topics and many others, while our blog represented parent voices on perennial issues such as mind-numbing school commutes to potty-training. 

Here are the top NPN blog posts and forum threads of ...

Posted on December 27, 2017 at 12:00 PM by Laura Baginski