Tuning in to family matters

Johns Hopkins welcomes Jeanne Lovy as its first director of family support services

Jeanne Lovy

Image caption: Jeanne Lovy, director of family support services, in the Homewood Early Learning Center, one of six Hopkins-affiliated child care centers in Baltimore.

Credit: Will Kirk / Johns Hopkins University

Editor's note: Since this story was published, the university announced an expansion of its child care voucher program that will go into effect for 2020. Read about it here.

With so many working parents among its staff, Johns Hopkins University is giving some serious thought to matters of the family.

Top of mind for Jeanne Lovy, the newly appointed director of family support services, is: "How do we help parents return to work after childbirth, and remain successful in their jobs when they have young children?"

Lovy is the university's first designated point person for these kinds of issues. Her purview includes child care—helping employees find it and afford it—and a wider range of offerings to support JHU families.

Lovy has experience in this territory after 12 years at the Jewish Community Centers Greater Boston, where she most recently served as vice president. Her work there included supervising the family engagement program and six early childhood centers.

At Hopkins, Lovy's role involves helping faculty, staff, and students link up to their best child care options—either at one of the six Hopkins-affiliated centers in Baltimore or via referrals.

With the latter, JHU families have the benefit of free membership and enhanced services from Locate: Child Care and Care@Work by, both of which offer connections to registered local daycare centers, preschools, and other options such as nannies.

Lovy is also thinking more broadly about how Hopkins can build new relationships—possibly formal ones—with other programs in and around Baltimore. One big question, she says, is "How can we support and improve child care for all in the community, in a way that helps not only Hopkins but also its neighbors?"

With all of this, Lovy understands that affordability is a big concern for a lot of families. Currently, child care vouchers of up to $5,000 a year are available for families of certain incomes, but Hopkins will be investigating further options.

In addition, Lovy says, "We're excited that we were recently able to expand the dependent care voucher program to eligible students, and we're evaluating that and other programs for their impact."

Beyond those fundamentals, Lovy wants to expand and diversify the kinds of family-oriented programming Hopkins can provide or refer employees to—things such as tutoring, enrichment programs, day trips, and summer camps. She's looking into family counseling options, too, and ways that Hopkins could help parents with school selection.

Lovy joined Hopkins this fall as part of the Benefits and WorkLife team, after Human Resources identified the need for more attention on family programs. Though Lovy is focused initially on child care resources, her position will ultimately expand to other family-focused programs and benefits.

"Johns Hopkins is taking proactive steps to up our game with offering family support services to employees," says April Floyd, senior director of Benefits and WorkLife, noting that the university recently expanded access to child care support to doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows and trainees.

"The biggest piece of the puzzle was bringing Jeanne Lovy on board to steer these efforts," Floyd says. "Under her guidance, we expect to see lot of new and exciting opportunities."

To learn more about current options at Johns Hopkins, visit the Family Support page of the Work, Life and Engagement website

Posted in Benefits+Perks