A Statement from First Five Years Fund (FFYF) Executive Director Kris Perry:
We applaud the House of Representative’s passage of H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which passed with an overwhelmingly positive vote of 392-37. This act will extend the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program funding through fiscal year 2017, providing $800 million for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 – and we urge the Senate to quickly follow suit.
The bill’s movement is a big step in the right direction for our nation’s children and families – and another important indicator of the bipartisan momentum behind early childhood education from birth to age 5. We implore the Senate to follow the House’s lead in extending funding for this vital program. Without this funding extension, thousands of programs rooted in local communities will be put in danger of closing.
The MIECHV program is a federal-state partnership with long-standing bipartisan support in Congress and states due to the programs’ success in strengthening families and providing new parents with the critical skills needed to actively support their child’s early development and education.
Research shows that high-quality home visiting programs produce results: including more self-sufficient families, improved newborn and maternal health, improved academic performance, reduced crime and domestic violence, better prepared workforce and a stronger economy.
The evidence is clear: home visiting works. Let’s make the final push to ensure funding for MIECHV through fiscal year 2017.
About the First Five Years Fund
The First Five Years Fund helps America achieve better results in education, health and economic productivity through investments in quality early childhood education programs for disadvantaged children. FFYF provides knowledge, data, and advocacy – persuading federal policymakers to make investments in the first five years of a child’s life that create greater returns for all.