MIECHV Reauthorized & Funded in 2018 Budget Act!

The federal Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program was reauthorized and funded for five years as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 signed this morning by President Donald Trump.

MIECHV provides funding to states and territories to support the implementation of evidence-based home visiting programs in designated high-need communities. In 2016-17, the program provided more than 22,600 home visits to nearly 2,000 Florida families, including 1,950 children under age three in 25 high-need communities and four contiguous areas.  Communities are implementing one of three models proven to impact outcomes for children and their families: Nurse-Family Partnership, Healthy Families Florida and Parents as Teachers. Florida’s program is administered by the Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions.

The program has been in limbo since the end of September when its authorization lapsed. Despite widespread bipartisan support, interim short-term budget resolutions failed to include home visiting. It came down to a nail-biter this week with the addition of MIECHV, along with other key safety net and family-serving programs, in a bipartisan Senate budget proposal.

The final 2018 budget also included significant funding increases for the Child Care Block Grant and community health centers, as well as an additional four years of reauthorization for the state Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

Thanks to all of our local, state and national advocacy partners, particularly the National Home Visiting Coalition and the Association of State and Territorial Home Visiting Initiatives (ASTHVI) for their hard work and support!

MIECHV, Other Programs Remain in Limbo

Reauthorization of the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, along with Community Health Centers and other health care programs, was not included in the short-term continuing resolution passed yesterday by Congress.  The continuing resolution includes six-year reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and ends the government shut-down through February 8th, providing time to consideration of legislation regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program.

Home visiting advocates continue to urge Congress to include MIECHV in any moving legislative vehicle.  At this point, with funding extended through February 8th, the next opportunity will be in early February. Over the next several weeks, home visiting advocates are urging supporters to contact their Congressional members and tell them to renew MIECHV now.

Home visiting, parenting programs critical to building strong foundation for children

Sustaining and expanding funding for evidence-based parenting programs and supports through the Maternal, Infant & Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) and other initiatives is critical to building strong foundations for children and their families, according to a new series of policy briefs developed by Zero to Three and the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). In addition, use of innovative approaches, such as centralized intake to screen and refer families to the most appropriate services, are key to the development of coordinated systems of care in communities.

The recently released series, Building Strong Foundations: Advancing Comprehensive Policies for Infants, Toddlers, and Families, identifies 13 core policies required to support young children and their families on a path to healthy development. Such public policies address the comprehensive and interrelated needs of infants, toddlers, and families, ensuring access to mental and physical health care services; healthy food to eat; stable housing; good jobs with adequate benefits; and quality early care and learning programs.  The series includes a framework, overarching rationale, and 13 policy briefs that make the case for these essential core policies and identify action steps for federal and state policymakers to build and improve upon them.

The policy brief on Parent Support Services and Resources recommends parents of infants and toddlers have access to a full continuum of evidence-based parent support services that are appropriate to their needs. This includes information resources, evidence-based home visiting, parent education and peer support programs, and guidance in navigating other services available in the community. Development of the policy framework was supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Find Out What’s Happening on MIECHV Reauthorization Along With State and Local Home Visiting Updates – FL MIECHV October Newsletter

 

Learn about plans by national home visiting advocates to urge immediate action to reauthorize the federal Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program which expired at the end of September. Find out how the Florida ECCS Impact project and FL MIECHV’s Coordinated Intake & Referral pilot are demonstrating the power of collective impact in developing systems of care in local communities.  See how Florida’s home visiting programs are promoting safe sleep and much more — it is all in the October 2017 FL MIECHV Newsletter!

National Home Visiting Coalition Urges Advocacy on MIECHV Reauthorization

The National Home Visiting Coalition today urged advocates to take action in support of Senate Bill 1829 reauthorizing the federal Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) initiative which expires at the end of September.

According to the Coalition, the bill extends the program at level funding for five years without many of the burdensome provisions included in the House reauthorization bill. View a side-by-side analysis here.

HV Resource Center Assesses Impact of Increased MIECHV Funding

If the federal Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program was reauthorized with increased funding, states would serve significantly more families, build infrastructure, create jobs, and generally strengthen services in their states and communities, according to a new survey by the National Home Visiting Resource Center (NHVRC).

Two bills to reauthorize the program, slated to expire at the end of the September, provide for no funding increase over five years.

Over the next week, home visiting and other early childhood advocates are expected to rally around “Strong Families Act of 2017,” a bipartisan Senate bill reauthorizing MIECHV introduced last week by Senators Chuck Grassley and Bob Menendez. Unlike the proposed House reauthorization bill – Increasing Opportunity through Evidence-Based Home Visiting Act (H.R. 2824) – the Senate version does not include a state match requirement – viewed as harmful to the program by most advocacy groups. Neither bill, however, includes a funding increase.  The National Home Visiting Coalition, a diverse group of nearly 50 organizations working to support the federal home visiting program, is calling for a five-year reauthorization with incremental funding increases until MIECHV reaches the funding level of $800 million per year.

Home Visiting Advocates Call for Day of Action September 19

The National Home Visiting Coalition is calling for a Day of Action on Tuesday, September 19 to urge federal lawmakers to reauthorize the Maternal, Infant & Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program before it expires at the end of the month.

The House Ways and Means Committee released a final version of its bill after failing to pass a series of amendments last week. The bill reauthorizes the program with level funding for five years. It retains a provision requiring dollar-for-dollar match by states by 2022, although it reduces match requirements for tribal MIECHV programs.

The Home Visiting Coalition is urging community advocates to reach out to their senators and members of congress and voice opposition to match requirements. The Coalition is also supporting increased funding for MIECHV.
The Day of Action will feature a Twitter Storm from 2- 3 p.m.  Here’s the group’s ACTION ALERT.

Save the Date! The First 1000 Days Florida Summit Planned for 2018!

Planning has started for the the 2018 First 1000 Days Florida Summit September 26-28, 2018 at the Palm Beach Convention Center.  Mark your calendar and plan to attend this statewide multi-disciplinary, cross-sector conference focusing on science, skill-building and advocacy for home visitors and other early childhood staff serving expectant and new families with children through age 3.

The inaugural First 1000 Days Florida Summit, held in 2015, drew more than 700 participants from programs in maternal and child health, prevention of abuse and neglect, early intervention, child care and school readiness.  Read more about the 2015 conference here.