House Passes Reauthorization of Early Childhood Home Visiting Program

Sep 26, 2017

Thompson, former Pennsylvania First Lady Michele Ridge comment on the Maternal Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program

WASHINGTON U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson today voted in favor of extending a successful early childhood home visiting program for the next five years.

The House approved H.R. 2824, the Increasing Opportunity and Success for Children and Parents through Evidence-Based Home Visiting Act by a vote of 214-209. The program works to improve the lives of families in at-risk communities by focusing on the first years of a child’s life. Without Congressional action, the program will expire on October 1, 2017.

The bill reauthorizes the Maternal Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV), which is a voluntary local home visiting program where families receive assistance from health, social service, and child development professionals. MIECHV funding is tied to real, proven results. House Republicans have long called for more programs to follow this evidence-based approach to ensure limited taxpayer dollars are working to deliver results and help those most in need.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was one of the earliest adopters of evidence-based state policies and has utilized MIECHV to aid thousands of families statewide, Rep. Thompson said from the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Nationally, MIECHV supports more than 160,000 families across all 50 states, 6 territories, and several tribes.

“I am pleased the House approved this bill because the MIECHV program is so important to ensure all children have a fair start in life,” Rep. Thompson said. “Parents truly are their children’s first teachers and this program helps give families in high-risk communities the tools they need to provide better opportunities for their children. MIECHV prevents child abuse and neglect, reduces domestic violence and improves school readiness, among many more proven results. This program truly works and I was pleased to support its reauthorization.”

“As a national board member of Nurse-Family Partnership, I am grateful to Congressman Thompson for his leadership and I thank the House of Representatives for recognizing the critical need to reauthorize MIECHV today,” said former Pennsylvania First Lady Michele Ridge. “Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is an evidence-based, community health program funded by MIECHV that helps transform the lives of vulnerable babies born to at-risk, first-time mothers. NFP currently serves 4,100 mothers throughout Pennsylvania, where the program has a proven track record of achieving significant outcomes and return on investment. We look forward to the House and Senate working together in a bipartisan manner to complete action on MIECHV and keep this program available to families in need.”

ABOUT MIECHV

WHAT: Maternal Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV)

By voluntarily participating in local home visiting programs, families receive help from health, social service, and child development professionals. Through regular, planned home visits, parents learn how to improve their family’s health and provide better opportunities for their children.

Home visits may include:

-          Supporting preventative health and prenatal practices

-          Assisting mothers on how best to breastfeed and care for their babies

-          Helping parents understand child development milestones and behaviors

-          Promoting parents’ use of praise and other positive parenting techniques

-          Working with mothers to set goals for the future, and find employment and child care solutions

H.R. 2824, the Increasing Opportunity and Success for Children and Parents through Evidence-Based Home Visiting Act reauthorizes the program through Fiscal Year 2022.