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!