National home visiting and early childhood advocates are planning a Day of Action on March 3 to raise the visibility of the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program and its success in improving the health and well-being of families. The program’s current authorization expires at the end of March.
Day of Action activities include:
- Grassroots calls to congressional representatives.
- A Twitter Storm (1:30-2:30pm EST) using the #HomeVisiting hashtag.
- A Capitol Hill fly-in bringing Prevent Child Abuse America representatives from every state to Washington for meetings with congressional offices.
The national Home Visiting Coalition today sent a letter with more than 700 signatories to congressional leadership, urging timely action to extend the authorization for the program. MIECHV supports evidence-based home visiting initiatives that provide the support, experience and knowledge critical to success during pregnancy and through the first few years of a child’s life. The letter includes signatories from every state and four territories, including national, state, local and tribal organizations and elected officials.
As the letter highlights, decades of research show that home visiting can prevent and mitigate serious problems facing children and their families. These include poor birth outcomes, child abuse and neglect, and childhood cognitive disabilities. Research also shows that home visiting can improve school readiness and academic achievement.
Research also confirms that home visiting can deliver cost-effective responses to the problems facing children and families. A RAND Corporation report found that two evidence-based home visiting programs saved between $1.80 and $5.70 per dollar invested.
MIECHV has a track-record of bipartisan support. Federal funding for voluntary evidence-based home visiting initiatives was first enacted by President George W. Bush. These efforts were consolidated in 2010, under MIECHV. Since then, Texas Governor Rick Perry, Georgia governor Nathan Deal, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, and other state leaders have tapped MIECHV funding to support locally-focused home visiting initiatives. MIECHV supports home visiting initiatives in every state, the District of Columbia, all five territories, and with tribal organizations. MIECHV offers states considerable flexibility in the design and focus of their home visiting initiatives, while applying accountability requirements that ensure federal funding is used only for supports that work.
“Continued funding for MIECHV should be a no-brainer for Congress. Thanks to this proven program, states are successfully leveraging resources to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and families on the individual, community and statewide levels,” said Lori Tremmel Freeman, CEO of the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs, a coalition member.
“Put simply, there is no better investment the public can make than in the long-term success of our babies and their families. The MIECHV program provides support to families when it matters the most – in their child’s earliest years. Working through states and local communities, MIECHV home visitors help parents nurture their children, building strong relationships that form the foundation for success in school and in life,” said Matthew Melmed, Executive Director of ZERO TO THREE(r), a coalition member.
“Home visiting programs are pro-family, voluntary, and most importantly, they work,” said James M. Hmurovich, President & CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America.