The Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program provides federal funds to states for voluntary, evidence-based home visiting services. Voluntary home visiting programs, like those made possible by MIECHV, pair families who often have limited support and resources with trained home visitors such as nurses, social workers and educators. Home visitors meet with parents in their homes from pregnancy through their child’s kindergarten entry to help lay the foundation for the health, education, development and economic self-sufficiency of the entire family.
Visits by caring, experienced professionals can turn good intentions into good parenting, breaking generations-long cycles of poverty, addiction, abuse and despair, making MIECHV a critical piece to providing a continuum of care for children from birth to age 5. In FY2020, home visiting programs funded by MIECHV served more than 140,000 parents and children and provided 925,000 home visits nationwide.
As the needs of families in communities across the country can vary greatly, MIECHV is designed to give states flexibility in identifying local needs to maximize effectiveness in improving outcomes. For families experiencing poverty, language barriers or geographic isolation, tailored home visiting services can be a valuable resource for supporting parents to be the best advocate for their child’s learning and development in the early years. Ultimately, investing in children from birth through family support programs saves money for taxpayers as a result of increased family self-sufficiency.
Further, federal investment in home visiting through MIECHV has kickstarted a boost in state investment. Since 2008, the National Conference of State Legislatures reports that at least 26 states have passed home visiting legislation.
MIECHV was reauthorized in 2018 at a funding level of $400 million a year through FY2022 and will expire Sept. 30, 2022. This funding is mandatory and not subject to annual appropriations. By improving and supporting newborn and maternal health, home visiting significantly impacts academic performance, reduces crime and domestic violence, encourages self-sufficiency within families and builds the foundation for a better-prepared workforce and a stronger economy.
Current Funding Level: MIECHV is funded for five years (through FY2022) at $400 million a year.