The Maternal, Infant & Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program has long enjoyed widespread support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, because it is proven to benefit children and families across the country.
In fact, Republican and Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill have highlighted MIECHV’s evidence-based record of success when discussing federal programs that are worthy of Congressional support:
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI)
“[Three] years ago, I became interested in what’s called MIECHV: The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program. Basically, the federal government helps states pay for nurses to visit poor mothers and give them advice. What’s really interesting about this program is how it divvies up the funding: Seventy-five percent goes to methods with proven results, while 25 percent goes to new methods that show promise. Frankly, I wish more programs were designed this way. Then we could really see what works and invest in it.”
-Remarks, Legislative Data and Transparency Conference
Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX)
“We will advance evidence-based reforms to fund more programs that actually work, such as the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program, which has delivered positive results for families by empowering parents to achieve better outcomes for themselves and their children.”
-Op-Ed, The Hill: Ways and Means Republicans ready to grow the economy, help Americans
Representative Adrian Smith (R-NE)
“In the Better Way agenda put forward by House Republicans last year, we proposed doing more of what MIECHV does: measuring how well programs are working to focus funding on those which produce real results. When we spend limited taxpayer dollars to help those in need, we must make sure we are spending money on effective programs. To do otherwise is a disservice to both taxpayers as well as those we are seeking to help.”
– Floor Statement | US House on September 26, 2017
Representative Danny Davis (D-IL)
“Parents, especially new parents often face obstacles—such as those caused by stress, language barriers, geographic and social isolation, and poverty—that impact their ability to fully support their baby’s development during the critical early years. They are particularly important for reaching families with very young children, who often are not seen in more formal settings, such as preschool. Voluntary home visiting programs have been shown to be an effective way to support families and children experiencing these risks because they reach families where they live and tailor services to meet their individual needs.”
-Remarks, Introduction of Home Visiting Works Act of 2017
Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO)
“We could extend this program on a bipartisan basis just the way we started it. It is really a success story. The evidence-based models are proven to deliver results for kids and families in every single State. Investments in MIECHV are investments in the success of America’s children and their futures. Peer-reviewed evidence proves that MIECHV leads to improvements in health outcomes for mothers and babies, school achievement, parenting practices, and overall early childhood development.”
-Floor Statement | US House on September 26, 2017
These are just a few of the many examples of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle highlighting MIECHV as a program that Congress should prioritize.
Unfortunately, Congressional authorization of MIECHV expired on September 30, 2017. If lawmakers don’t act soon, programs and providers across the country that rely on MIECHV will soon be forced to drastically cut home visiting services, as funding from the current authorization will begin to run out.
MIECHV should be a top priority for Congress, and FFYF is hopeful that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle will come together to ensure this vital program continues to serve vulnerable families for years to come.