The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Mr. Speaker and Leader Pelosi:
We write in strong support of including the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program as a health extender in Sustainable Growth Rate legislation or other suitable
legislation that can be enacted into law prior to March 31. We respectfully ask you to support extending the authorization for MIECHV at the current funding level.
As you know, MIECHV supports evidence-based home visiting in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five territories, ultimately providing care for over 115,000 children and their families. In addition, the Tribal Home Visiting Program funds home visiting services to over 50 tribal communities through grants to 25 tribes, tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations. These voluntary services help empower and strengthen families by providing coaching to new and expectant mothers and families during pregnancy and throughout the first few years of their child’s life. Several decades of rigorous research demonstrate that these voluntary family support programs improve family self-sufficiency, reduce the need for remedial education, and result in reduced health care costs.
MIECHV is an effective strategy for strengthening families and saving money. Members of both parties know that early intervention with proven approaches like home visiting is the key to reducing costs and creating an environment for our most vulnerable children to succeed. Without question, MIECHV invests taxpayer dollars wisely on programs proven to work. Without assurance that funding would be continued, many states would likely need to consider freezing enrollment of motivated parents who want to do well by their children but lack the support, experience and knowledge critical to· their children’s success. An interruption in funding would not only preclude reaching additional families with evidence-based programs that improve health, help prevent child maltreatment, encourage positive parenting, and promote child development and school readiness, but would also curtail states’ abilities to achieve returns on investments through savings in health care, educational and public assistance expenditures that could have been prevented through expanded home visiting services.
Authorization for MIECHV will lapse on March 31. We urge you to include its extension at its current funding level in the Sustainable Growth Rate legislation or other legislation that can be enacted prior to March 31.