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.